Your digital life is a mess. I know because I feel it, too. SORT and Succeed, which you’ve been learning and using to organize closets, kitchens, and spaces in your home, works to help organize your information, too. That’s right, you can organize your digital life with SORT and Succeed. Step 1 is aways the right place to start.
Organize your Digital Life with SORT and Succeed- Step 1
I hear you sighing. Where to start?
- online to do list
- computer files
- cloud storage files
Organize your Digital Life One Goal at a Time
It’s a lot to think about. Whether you are organizing household things or digital things, you still start at Step 1: a written plan of 5 words or less. Just do one at a time, like this:
- Clear last week’s unread emails
- Tweak email rules, filters, and settings
- Unsubscribe from 5 email lists
- Favorite just last month’s photos
- Update online to-do list
- File documents from “downloads” folder
- Delete 10 obsolete cloud files
- Aggregate vital records for emergencies
- Install and learn password manager
Does it feel like too little? Remember, we’re going for progress, not perfection.
Digital information comes at you too fast to achieve perfection. You can’t read, respond, file and do everything perfectly if you live in the modern world. You really have to live in “GoodEnoughLand.” When you set up systems to help you manage your digital life, things get easier, for sure. But while you are working on something on one app, you’ll be getting more email or messages or tasks in other apps.
Recognize Expectations- Yours and Others’
Part of organizing digital information is deciding priorities and expectations for getting things done. Inc.com’s article called This Is exactly How Long People Expect You to Take to Respond to an Email — And Why it Matters shared some good info about expectations. Most people expect other people to respond to email between 24 and 48 hours. It’s worth considering whether that is your expectation for yourself, for your colleagues inside your company, and for vendors or colleagues outside your company.
It’s tricky now with texting, as most people assume texts should be responded to immediately, and if not now, then certainly faster than emails.
In fact, I’ve had other professionals tell me that texting is always faster (than email or calling), but that’s only true if you allow texting to dominate your day. It’s only true if you allow texts to interrupt other things. It’s only true if you are looking at your phone, or responding to alerts in real time. It’s only true if you make yourself available for an open-ended conversation at any time.
Starting with a written goal can include figuring out what digital information and communication channels you deem important and accessible.
Writing down or talking with your spouse, colleagues, or boss about what good expectations and boundaries are can help you feel like you can start to get a handle on organizing your digital life.
Create healthy boundaries for yourself to avoid overwhelm. You don’t have to do everything, everywhere, all at once. In fact, you can’t. But we can do the things that are important to us good enough.
No matter when you found us, catch up with all of this month’s organizing articles here.