I’m a piler, are you? I work with at least five or six piles around my desk, neat and orderly but I am constantly having to look through them to find what I need. At the same time my piling tendencies apply to my computer, my desktop icons, my email and well being a piler means that stuff piles up and systems slow down and then, ooops, I slow down. Time to clean up, clear out, and dump the junk.
What does this mean? Well let’s take a step by step look and what you’ve got on your plate. I’m betting it is kind of like mine.
#1 Your Email (eeek, no not the greatest time robber of all!)
- Dump your email delete box, it isn’t a place to store things. Clean it up and file those emails you want to or have to save in e-files. Dump the junk.
- Purge your sent files. If you aren’t sure then save selected ones to e-files, purge the rest.
- Delete your junk file, it is junk after all. Yes, you can scan it first to make sure nothing worthy fell in, don’t be fooled by anything title “hello dear” they don’t mean you, they mean “hello sucker”
#2 Your Desktop (if you can’t see your screensaver clearly for all the icons here is your chance)
- Just because it was a free pdf, doesn’t mean you need to read it or even save it. Oh and here is the rule, if it is more than 30 days old, it is OLD news and there is likely a new free report or 10 to replace it.
- Cluttered up with videos to view, watch or lose them. They aren’t improving with age, they aren’t like fine wine.
- Have you managed to download a ton of audios? Get them onto your IPOD and actually listen or let them go, you likely know it all and just doubt you do. Let go, trust in your knowledge.
#3 Speed It Up (you are only as fast as the tools you use, keep them clean)
- It is likely your system hasn’t been defragged in a long while. This isn’t hard to do, you can google it and find a happy solution. Or get hold of your tech, but do it, you’ll be glad you did.
- Same deal on compression, it will give you increased RAM (memory, don’t we always need more?) and speed up processing.
- If you aren’t running Norton Antivirus or McAfee or something like it, you need to. What slows your computer down is malware, spyware, excess cookies (hey they slow peeps down too with that extra tonnage), and more. Clean it out and you’ll get more done faster.
#4 Hard Files (yes the kind in the dark green hanger file thingies in a drawer, old fashioned, still work)
- Get rid of files you no longer need, don’t be afraid, just do it.
- Inactives that you want or need to keep but don’t need to reference daily belong in a separate drawer or box out of site. (Visual clutter can be a real productivity killer.)
- Be sure you leave room for NEW files and NEW business. If you are full up, so to speak, you will definitely impair new business opportunities.
#5 Resources, samples, catalogues and more (the stuff that is more often up to date online)
- Depending on your business you likely have a stash of catalogues and even samples relating to your business. These get out of date really fast in many cases, ditch them. Samples and catalogues don’t improve with age. They get discontinued, get over it.
- I no longer pick up literature at trade shows but instead ask for CD’s with catalogues or just go to a link t check it all out. I don’t have or want to store it all and have to go through it. Do you?
- Wait I know you are going to make a nifty craft project with those old samples. Get over it, you don’t have time, life is short and you are in demand, dump the junk. In my design days, I hoarded boxes of old samples for that purpose I even moved them residence to residence until I realized I’d never have the time. You likely won’t either, let go, surrender to success.
Now, what you’ll notice is that you will once again look forward to time in your office. Your creative juices will flow and your problem solving ability will spike. You will have released the gremlins of clutter and demons of chaos and invited in the lucky leprechauns (okay I’m reaching here) of productivity while banishing the bad boy of busy. You will reclaim hordes of time from that place of endlessly searching for things buried in your piles, real and electronic and be on the path to profitability. Try it, you’ll like it!
Please share your stories of organization and the results it has for you. I’ve been labeled a neatnik most of my life and will use cleaning as a procrastination tool to spur my productivity. How about you?