Time To Clean Out Your Email, Computer

By Steve Twedt
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr)  Oh how I can relate to this one.  I have so much junk on my computer, I don’t even know where to begin. Did I ever consider myself a digital hoarder? Not until reading this article which I have a feeling you may be too! Jen Cohen Crompton, a Philadelphia-based small business productivity consultant advises “If you haven’t touched that document in the last 12 months, you’re not going to need it.” My feeling is that for women in business with so much on their plates…deleting is easier said than done.

PITTSBURGH

You may not think you’re a hoarder, but your hard drive knows better.

Those emails, photos and attachments that sit there in your computer or smartphone for weeks, even months, eat away at drive space and slow every log-on and complicate every keyword search.

You already know that, sure, but when was the last time you did something about it?

“Even the most organized person can have issues with their email,” says Jen Cohen Crompton, a Philadelphia-based small business productivity consultant.

Digital hoarding may not be as visually obvious as stacks of paper spilling off a desk, she said, but those undeleted emails, icon-covered home pages and layers of tabs can clutter your mind as well as your hard drive.

That makes for a less productive workday that can snowball into less productive work weeks and work months.

Digital hoarding feels different than physical hoarding, which requires some active collecting. Emails fill the inbox whether we ask for them or not, so digital hoarding can simply be the result of benign neglect or excessive multi-tasking. In those instances, the problem usually lasts only until you have a few minutes to organize.

But too often, the digital hoarder shares one key characteristic with the physical hoarder: An abiding fear they may one day need that file they’re about to delete. Crompton’s response: “If you haven’t touched that document in the last 12 months, you’re not going to need it.”

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