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As we continue to develop new technologies, we run a much higher risk of becoming digital hoarders (yes, this is an actual thing). So what exactly is digital hoarding? Let’s start with your inbox. Do you have thousands of unopened emails that continue to sit in your inbox day after day? What about your computer’s desktop? Is it so cluttered with documents that you can never find anything? Do you have countless applications on your phone that you downloaded and have still never even tried to use? In fact, is your phone consistently informing you that it has nearly reached its data storage maximum? If this sounds like you, then you might in fact be a digital hoarder.
While digital clutter might not be as daunting (or as dramatic) as the popular reality television shows that depict mountains of junk piled up in people’s homes, a “digital” hoard of unused (and unorganized) documents, emails, files, photos, and programs can be very inefficient and even overwhelming at times.
Studies have shown that clutter does far more than simply getting in one’s way physically. It can also create exhausting obstacles, and for a business owner, these obstacles can easily put you over the edge, as there are a number of other challenges you encounter on a daily basis. Not only can digital clutter make it unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming to find the important files, emails, and documents that you actually need to access, which reduces both productivity and overall performance, but it can also slow down your actual technology, including your computer, iPad, and cell phone. When you are able to remove all of this clutter, you will instantly feel far less weighed down, and you will find that small daily tasks are much less daunting and are easier to accomplish quickly.
Many small businesses find themselves surrounded by digital overload, as they are concerned about deleting documents that they might need one day. As you can imagine, all of these documents can quickly add up. The best solution to this problem is to create a plan that determines which documents you need to keep, and which ones you can throw away. Once you’ve gotten past this step, you should create an organized digital filing system that will properly archive everything you need to keep so it isn’t bogging you down (and you’ll still be able to find it easily in the event you need it ten years from now). Below are some additional tips to help you remove the digital clutter from your company as well as your life.
Bottom Line: If you are running your own business or company, you simply cannot afford to have any type of disorganization or clutter. This will lead even the most successful company down a path to failure. If you lighten your digital load now then you will have more time to focus on growing your business and not your burdens.