The week before Thanksgiving this year at around 4:50 pm on a Wednesday afternoon, I finally remembered to call the butcher to special order our fresh turkey.

The store’s phone system was down. At first it was a source of complete and utter frustration. I remember thinking “Really? I finally remembered to call about this and your phones don’t work?” But technology doesn’t really care about my short-term memory.

As the butcher was about to suggest I call back tomorrow, I blurted out “Avery. 12 to 13 pound turkey. Pick up Monday.” He chuckled as he repeated it back and then the phone went dead for the fourth time. God bless the butcher.

Makes me think about how incredibly reliant we are on technology.

  • With this giant elusive thing aptly called the cloud, we can save anything we want.
  • We have infinite resources right at our fingertips!
  • WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!!! (I’ve always wanted to say that)

Until we don’t.

Find me a person who hasn’t had a computer die out of nowhere just as they were about to start an online interview. That happened to me and I’m betting you’ve had a similar experience.

As a society, we have a digital clutter problem. See if one of these sounds familiar.

  • You look at an email in your inbox and think “I need to save this because it might be useful in the future.”
  • You find yourself saving every single press release or article because you might need it someday.
  • You open your 46th tab on your internet browser. I’m guilty of this one. And then there’s that moment of panic when the computer randomly does its next update. Yikes.

Saving these files somewhere in the cloud gives us a false sense of security.

Where do we start to say NO to the digital inflow?

Just like we do with physical clutter, we start with your desk or in this case your desktop.

Mine has the shortcuts for my most used software and 3 file folders: To Be Filed, Taxes, Temp Photos. That’s it.

I have a vast open space on my desktop. I can enjoy the rotating photos of beautiful scenes from around the globe. I walk by my office and that’s what I see, not hundreds of files taunting me and reminding me off the work I have yet to do. Aaaahhhh…

Now you may not be in a home office; but trust me this still applies.

What you see when you enter your office or cubicle is what will set the tone for your day.

  1. I’m betting it’s hard for you to find anything in the maze.
  2. Looking at that cluttered screen is just as draining as piles of papers on the floor.
  3. You’re at risk that someone walking by could easily access something confidential.

My tax folder should really not be on the desktop. In fact, I’ve already filed it away. We’re talking progress not perfection.

Filing it was easy. Because I have a SYSTEMsaving you space, time, energy, and money.

Yes, setting up a system takes some time on the front end. But once you’ve got it, you’ll be saving at least half an hour every day!

Let’s imagine that it takes you 30 seconds to find a document. You hop into File Explorer, type a keyword phrase, hope you’ve got the right words (fingers and toes crossed), then you scroll through the documents to find the right one.

Now imagine that you save 20 items – documents, spreadsheets, photos, invoices – in a typical day. I’m betting it’s even more.

In a 50-week year, that means you save 1,000 documents. Laughing because my typo was 50-year week. Don’t some weeks feel like they’re 50 years?

How many years have you been working? If you’ve been working 10 years and you’ve never done a digital declutter, you have 10,000 documents floating around on your desktop or in the cloud.

On average, it takes 2 minutes to read a one-page document. If you were to read all 10,000 one-page documents, it would take you over 333 hours. I think I’m having a very bad senior year of college English Lit major flashback. That’s a lot of reading.

Makes you think twice about saving that document doesn’t it?

Let’s digital declutter together! Set up your call here.  http://bit.ly/SchedCallPBD

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Catherine Avery
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