There is so much information available to help in our businesses and lives, and it comes from everywhere! You might have notes from meetings and courses, there are news sites and blogs to keep up with, and I don't need to tell you about your email inbox and social media feeds.
If you're anything like me or many of my clients, there is a heap of this information that you're thinking "I might need that later for that project I'm going to start", and you save it in your email or on your desktop screen or in a pile of paper on your desk.
Well stop right there!
You think you're helping your future self by saving things that you might need. It's natural to have ambitions for all the great things you're going to do when you have time. But! When it comes time to actually make a start on that new project, you then get overwhelmed, confused, and waste time trying to sort through and pull all your collected info together. Ever heard of information overload?
Or worse still, do you forget what you saved or where you saved it and just start with a brand new Google search. What a waste of time and space saving all this information that doesn't end up helping.
Neither of these are very productive uses of your time.
Keep it Simple
We've all seen, heard or experienced the benefits of cutting back on clutter in our physical spaces. The same applies to our digital and mental spaces. So you can be thinking more clearly, have better focus, be less stressed. So where do we start?
When you think you need to save a document or article for future reference, you need to ask these important questions:
Is there a specific use for it?
Is this info relevant to your current goals and projects? Be really honest with yourself, thinking about your current workload, are you really going to get that project done any time soon?
Is this something I can find again later?
There will be some things you will want to keep because you can't easily get them again later. But for everything else, often a Google search or a quick email to the right person will give you exactly what you need.
When are you going to actually use it? Will this info still be relevant and current by then?
There might be better, more up to date info to help at the time.
And when it comes time to do this, where am I going to look?
Keep them all in one place, check that you're not doubling up, have a filing system so you can find them and maybe also a reminder of what you're planning on doing with it, when and why this info will help.
Take action right now:
Go through that pile of papers, saved emails and articles that you are saving for that future project and ask the above questions. Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you really need to keep it?
If you need more help to Declutter and simplify your digital "stuff", check out my new eCourse....