Let’s agree — the ever evolving technology is great — the digital space with its incredible communication tools & platforms it makes doing business so much easier.
Yet at the same time, the technology that makes doing business so much easier can also be very disruptive to our business (and our daily life!).
Being constantly connected to the rest of the world & having an extra space — the digital one — to take care of can leave us frazzled & mentally fatigued. Think digital distraction by constant notifications, overwhelm by the always-available-and-turned-on modus & decision fatigue by the seemingly growling complexity in our digital space.
This is not serving us & not serving our business. Right?
The key here is to own your digital space (again); intentionally declutter and redesign your digital space to make technology work for you & your business.
And in this case it means ‘less is more’ — less distractions in your digital space leading to more focus, more productivity & more creativity which will give you more profit, more impact & more meaning in your business & in your life!
So start ruling your digital space with these 8 steps:
Step 1: Remove everything that is not functional on your desktop. A clean desktop gives you a fresh start at any moment. And while you’re at it — remove all those shortcuts on your phone screen & silence the notifications for the same reinvigorating effect.
Step 2: Make sure you’ve got an automatic back-up of your files. Yes, your business is not your hobby so if you haven’t taken care of it yet, do it now. It’s a nagging feeling, not having an automatic back-up & it subconsciously gives you an unsafe feeling, making you copy on different devices & hoard.
Step 3: Go into your files on your computer & start decluttering with the following 2 principles: 1. a place for everything & 2. the need to see only see what you are working on.
Arrange your documents in files & do it so it works for you. I file by projects & clients. My guidelines are: 1. only working documents & 2. the rest is stored in a cabinet the cloud. I can access the cabinet but I can’t see what’s in it from my computer (got to click through) so no distractions there.
Put your working documents in working files on your computer.The rest goes out of your sight– either delete it or store it externally into the cloud or elsewhere. No need to see it, no need to be distracted by it.
Any programs or trainings that you did or created –create a folder, with a module folder within & put all files per module in it. Once the program is done, file it into the cloud cabinet.
Look critically what you are storing. Old trainings, podcasts, etc., be rigorous. I deleted over 90% last years. You can read all about it over here. All the unfinished work, all the ideas & inspiration files you haven’t acted on — it weighs you down every time you see it. Don’t kid yourself — you are not using it. It was a spark, & it’s gone now. Pass it on, be rigorous & delete for more creative space.
Step 4: Clear out your downloads. If you’ve never cleaned up your Downloads folder, it’s taking up a good amount of storage on your computer. Sort the files by date & delete in chunks to prevent overwhelm.
Step 5: Revise your software. Realize that this is a business expense & be vigilant.Assess your business needs per quarter & decide if your software is appropriate.
Let your software support you & not the other way around. Not used, not cost effective or out of date? Delete or Unsubscribe. Mark it in your schedule — every 3 months.
Step 6: Are you hoarding domain names? Welcome to the club. I do not know any entrepreneur who is not guilty of this. Review your domain names claimed & clean up now.
Are the names still giving you energy or is it dead? Ditch it if so because a claim is another way of waste. It’s not the spirit you want to do business in.
Step 7: Clean up the bookmarks in your browser. Streamline your browser window by cleaning out your bookmarks. Delete what you can for a clean-cut browser & save what you need with the app Pocket.
Step 8: & then last but not least… email.
First unsubscribe from every free subscription, newsletter, everything. Unsubscribe with unroll.me (it’s free!). Then choose 3 subscriptions — sales, inspiration, motivation, productivity tips, whatever it is — that give you what you need. Do NOT clutter your mental space.
Once you are unsubscribed, start arranging your email into folders. Whatever works for you. I arrange by projects & clients but you need to do whatever works for you.
Change the setting in your inbox. The standard setting of the inbox is that the last email in, the newest email appears on the top. Switch this by clicking the ‘sort by date’ button the top right corner & put it to ‘oldest email on top’ — it gives you a good idea of what you still have to handle.
Clear your inbox. Handle it now. Start by the oldest email & handle it. Do it now. An empty inbox gives peace of mind & space for new, fresh prospects to come in.
Now get your email to work for you; set a clear email strategy in 20 minutes with my tips over here.
Eight steps to more focus, productivity & creativity — clearing out the old, letting in the new. Feeling resistance coming up? Feeling conflicted, getting hit with excuses? This is your monkey mind playing tricks on you.
Move through the steps rigorously to receive that new, vibrant energy.
You know you need to own your digital space again — clearing it & designing it to serve — more space for renewed creativity & more time for doing the things that matter, leading you to more profits, more productivity & more meaning in life & in bizz.
This post is part of a 5 step training to take the reins again & make your business running money for you. Go all the way for that great revenue — get my training 5 Super Simple Steps To Decluttering Your Business FREE now & experience the magic of tidying your business!
And do share your top tips to own your digital space — we’re all on this journey together!
Elles Lohuis PhD is Business Consultant & Coach, helping entrepreneurs to scale up their business for more profit, impact & meaning on all levels.
Follow Elles on Linkedin or Twitter and her blog at The Contemplation Cafe