Last week, I talked about how digital organization is more than a nuisance. It has an actual cost that goes beyond being a distraction.
Now that you know it’s costing you money, it’s time to dive in and put an action plan together!
“Where do I even begin?!”
I hear you! So here’s my strategy for setting an achievable plan for your digital organization project. It’s a little longer than my usual posts because I included a lot of step-by-step directions for you.
Know Your Why
You’ve probably heard this a hundred times by now and there’s a good reason for that. In my opinion, a digital organization project is more difficult than a physical one because the evidence isn’t out in the open for all to see. It can be easy to push it aside because it isn’t taking up any actual space.
Digital organization is also often very tedious. That means that it won’t take long for you to dread doing it and start to push it off until “later.” Remembering your why will be vital to you completing this project.
Why is achieving and maintaining inbox zero important?
Why is having a naming structure for your documents worth your time?
What will you gain by getting these things accomplished?
Write out these answers and put them up on your wall, desk, or dreamboard where they are visible at all times. When these “whys” are staring you in the face, it will make it much harder for you to push things off.
Write Out Your Plan
This one is SO commonly skipped over and yet it is the most important piece of the puzzle! A digital organization project, or any project for that matter, is not going to be kept straight in your mind. Your mind is too busy remembering other things!
What needs to be organized? Ex. Inbox, Google Drive, Hard drive, Dropbox, etc Make a list of these items and then break each one down into its own project. Under your inbox, what folders do you need to create? What filters need to be implemented? Which emails do you know you can unsubscribe from?
Answer these questions and whatever else comes to mind! For your documents, think about the topics you know you have in there. Which topics can you delete without having to look at? When I started my business, I was a VA so I had a ton of documents specifically related to being a VA. When I did a major clear out of my Google Drive a few months ago, that was I folder I knew that I could delete without ever opening because it’s no longer relevant.
Now that you have these smaller projects written out, rank them in priority of importance. You will tackle number one first because it is the thing that drives you absolutely batty every time you think about it or look at it.
Put it on Your Calendar - DAILY!
Consider how much time each mini-project is going to take you and then add another week. This way, there’s little guilt when you miss a session and you get a slight break between projects. Write it into your calendar and schedule appointments with yourself to work on this. No one has entire days to dedicate to a project like this. Even if you do, don’t do it! I recommend doing 15-20 minute blocks of time 2-3 times a day, every day.
Even as someone who enjoys this kind of work, I don’t do it for more than about an hour at a time before taking a break. Staring at your screen for too long staring at document after document can easily become mind-numbing.
When it’s time for your appointment with yourself, turn off and close all distractions. Take a deep breath, set a timer for 20 minutes, and dive in immediately! Stay focused and your timer will go off sooner than you think. If you’re really in the groove, turn your timer off and keep working. Unless you have prior commitments, it is totally acceptable to work on your digital organization project for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Do these little bursts of work DAILY! Not only will it help you complete the project sooner, but it will keep your momentum moving forward and start to build in a habit of digital organization.
You've Got This!
You got yourself into this mess and you can absolutely dig yourself out of it! One chunk of work at a time. Once you’re done, you’ll feel SO much better and realize that yes, it is in fact worth all of the hard work you put in.
Set yourself up for success by setting those goals, writing them out, and even bringing an accountability partner on board. Someone who will challenge you and follow up with you to see if you’re meeting your goals.
If you feel so overwhelmed by your digital organization project that you don’t even know where to start, then please book a free consult immediately so we can get a plan in place for you! You’ve got this!