The biggest accomplishment for me so far in 2016 has been a successful ‘digital cleanse’ and re-organisation. Included in this process was a selection process to reduce the number of apps, cloud storage and other tools in my workflows. I ended 2015 in a bit of a ‘train wreck’ scenario with files and important information all over the place. I wasted time trying to find information and this was a huge productivity killer.
Step 1. I got very clear on what I need to do on a daily basis to achieve my key objectives in my business and personal life. I wrote down what I need to do to drive my business forward and I am determined to shed or outsource the rest. For some reason 2015 caused me to go a bit off course and I was doing work I don’t enjoy and do not perform well at doing.
Step2. The biggest choice of all was choosing the operating system that I am going to stick with. I think this choice has become harder given improvements in all the major operating systems. I was using both Windows 10 and Apple El Capitan. I like using both but the switching between the two was causing too much friction since there are not clear lines between work and personal time in my life. I need to have one ‘ecosystem’ of hardware and operating system. Tough choice but I made it.
Step 3. I created a spreadsheet that listed all the tools and apps I use and what I use them for. The duplication was numbing. I was using three different cloud storage services, different productivity tools, note taking software etc. You name the need and I was using multiple tools to achieve outcomes. What a mess. I decided on what tools I like to use and shed the rest. In some cases this process was hard since so many tools have strengths that others do not and so on.
The selection of a task management tool was also incredibly challenging. I rely so much on a task management tool and there are so many great ones available.
Step 4. This is the part where I put it all in place. I had to spend time migrating files, cancelling subscriptions and general clean up. I found a lot of waste in my systems and realised I collect a great deal of information that I never use. I am sure there are many like me in that area.
At this early stage I am travelling along pretty well. There is a sense of liberation have your tools and information management orderly and predictable. I admit to missing a few features of tools I used before but you can waste a lot of precious time searching for the ultimate solutions and never getting real work done.