During the transition process of leaving the SmartSites office, one of my tasks was to not only clean out my desk, but also the stuff that I’ve been relentlessly piling up in my computer.
While overall, the process of moving myself out of the space I had inhabited was overwhelming, ultimately it was rejuvenating to go through the online folders to see what I needed to take back with me and what I could leave behind for future office use. Thankfully I initially spared myself the effort of having to go through a lot of files by giving myself a “Liz” folder.
It seemed as if I stored every miscellaneous document in that folder as an excuse to not throw anything out. I had files that I knew I would never need again after sending them off to their respective recipient. My dad’s medical report that I helped edit, old copies of transcripts that I never uploaded, drafts of stories I never finished.
Cleaning Your Space
Documents stored in an online folder take about as much space as those in a manila folder. All of those useless gigs of stuff is equivalent to keeping junk in the basement because you never know when you’re going to need it next. But who are we kidding? More often than not, you never actually need it. It’s sitting in that folder, along with your denial.
De-cluttering Your Online Friend List
While you’re at it, take a look through social media. Are there friends you haven’t interacted with in a while? Those who have no impact on your personal or professional life, someone you maybe met at a party once and have no intention of keeping in touch with anymore? It might not be a bad idea to go through that as well. Why have people and things in your life that you don’t associate with anymore?
Instead of cluttering, think about archiving the things you really need for your business. Is there a brochure from a past business event that you feel may have some relevance to future events? What about that Powerpoint on Media Kits that you made for a client that could be stored for possible use later These things you should absolutely save.
Be sure not to put archived items all in a bundle, lock them away, and forget about them. Store them in a folder called “Archive” or reserve one small space where you can put these “future use” items. And actually use them.
Taking the time to go through the clutter can be extremely beneficial to your work and productivity. Although the act of cleaning may not be particularly exciting, it’s a huge relief knowing that your hard drive is not bogged down with unnecessary items. Just throw it in the Recycle Bin and Empty it.
Warning, however. Don’t throw things out aimlessly. Sift through each document, making sure that it is not a document that could be pertinent to your business. One of the worst things you can do as a businessman is accidentally delete something that could be valuable. When the workload isn’t demanding sit down at your desk, go through your computer, and lighten your load. It will be better for your business in the longrun.