Growing Your Brand in a Digital World:
As we continue to develop new technology, we run a much higher risk of becoming digital hoarders (yes, this is an actual thing). But what exactly is digital hoarding? Let’s take your inbox for example. Do you have thousands of unopened emails that continue to sit in your inbox day after day? What about your computer desktop? Is it so cluttered with documents that you can never seem to 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 track down important files, emails, and documents, it can also slow down your technology, including your computer, iPad, and cell phone. By removing the clutter, you will instantly feel 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 determine which documents you need to keep on hand, and which you can keep in your archives. 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.
Examine your email inbox
This is probably one of the biggest culprits in creating digital clutter, as people simply ignore the emails that pile up day after day. Start with the easy stuff: delete spam, outdated emails, or anything else that is irrelevant to your business. Next, create a system that will result in only a few important emails sitting in your inbox at the end of each day. This will force you to decide which emails to delete, save for later, or respond to immediately. Additionally, you should unsubscribe from any emails that you don’t read (and likely never will). Don’t panic; you can always re-subscribe to these emails if you decide that they are important down the road.
Create an efficient filing system
This will ensure that you and your employees know what to save, where to save it, and how to find it again. Each day, review what needs to be saved and what can be thrown away. Delete applications and programs that you do not use. Like email subscriptions, you will always be able to download them again if you discover that you need them.
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.