eCommerce Made Easy

Unleashing Business Success and Productivity Through Digital Cleanup

December 19, 2023 Carrie Saunders Episode 34
eCommerce Made Easy
Unleashing Business Success and Productivity Through Digital Cleanup
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Are you feeling overwhelmed by the digital chaos cluttering your business? It may be time to clean up!

In this episode, we explore the critical elements of digital cleanup, how it can fuel your creativity, save precious time, and most importantly, ramp up your earnings. From managing passwords to organizing your emails, we explain the importance of routine digital cleaning and how it not only de-clutters your digital space but refreshes your mind and sparks fresh ideas. 

Tune in and feel the relief of a cleaner, more productive workspace!

Mentioned Resources:
 

Password Advice – Episode 5: How to Protect your WordPress Site

In a part of this episode, I explain how to make your passwords not only long, but also hard for computer to guess!

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than others do in 12 Months*
For those interested in new ways to organize your work life and increase your productivity, this is a great book to check out!

* This link contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Find out more information about the Business Visibility Made Easy Course at www.ecommercemadeeasypodcast.com/bvme

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Speaker 1:

Did you know that a digital cleanup can be crucial to your business success? It may sound like a waste of time at first, or even a little boring, but a digital cleanup can really increase productivity tenfold or more. When you're more productive, you generate more revenue in your business. So what are some key areas that you should do a digital cleanup and how often should you do them to maximize your success? What is for this week's episode? To find out some surprisingly simple tasks to do.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders. When we started this business, all I had was a couch, a laptop and a nine-month-old my main goal To help others. Now, with over 20 years in the eCommerce building industry and even more than that in web development, I have seen a lot. I love breaking down the hard tech and the easily understandable bits to help others be successful in their online business. Whether you're a seasoned eCommerce veteran or just starting out, you've come to the right place. So sit back, relax and let's dive into the world of eCommerce together. Welcome back to this week's episode of the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. I'm your host, kiri Saunders.

Speaker 1:

It's the end of the year as I'm recording this, but a digital cleanup could happen anytime of the year, but why should we care when we're always too busy as entrepreneurs and business owners? Or at least it sure seems like that right On the service level, it seems like it could be a waste of time, but really it's not. Digital cleanup helps us in many ways. It increases our productivity, it increases our creativity, it saves us time, which in the end saves us money. It also reduces our mental load when things are more organized, and we're happier when things are more organized, obviously because things are easier to find and we're not frustrating looking for what we need. So when you wrap all these together, then it also increases your revenue. Think about it. Think about how all these little steps can really combine together and really tin fold and really increase your revenue. So digital cleanup should happen at least once a year. However, if you're a big fan of the 12-week yearbook, like I am, then you may want to consider doing it in your 13th week. We will link to that book in this week's episode for a quick reference to it. So that could be once a quarter. Then, if you do it like a 12-week year, where you have a 13th week where you're planning and prepping and getting ready for your next 12-week year. So you not only would have an easier time cleaning up if you do it more often like this, but you'd also read the benefits of regularly cleaning up your digital devices. But then, like I said, if you only feel like you can fit it in once a year, please don't stress yourself out. At least do it once a year. You're going to feel so much better when you get it done, and then maybe consider doing it once a quarter, like you moved with the 12-week year.

Speaker 1:

So then, what are some areas of our digital business world that we should look at when we're doing a digital cleanup? First off, I'd like to recommend changing your passwords. With how many places we log in any more as business owners, there are a ton of passwords that we have. I recommend using a digital password store so that you aren't using the same password over and over again in multiple places, and I've talked about this before in some previous episodes of the e-commerce made easy podcast, and so then you might want to change your passwords. You wouldn't have to change all your passwords every quarter, especially if you're doing it every quarter like I'm suggesting, but I would recommend at least changing your very important, most important ones, like your bank passwords and the ones that are really getting you into those systems that you really need to keep them secure, and I would do the other ones at least yearly. Now we're going to link in our show notes to the episode where I talked about password security and how to really create a good password too, because even if we were to change our passwords regularly, if we make them too simple and too short in length, it's really not going to help us too much with security. We need to make sure we have good, strong passwords when we do it, which is another reason I recommend a digital password store, so that you're not remembering these long, complicated passwords. But I do have a trick in that other episode on how to create memorable but long, secure passwords. So make sure you check that out on the show notes after we're done with this episode.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so the next thing I want us to do is look at business subscriptions. Really, look down, look at all your business subscriptions that you have. Make a list, if you don't already have it, of all your business subscriptions. Now, this could be your email service provider. It could be your hosting provider. It could be software that's paid for yearly or maybe every month. So really make a good list of this and then I want you to look at which ones do you still regularly use, which ones don't you ever use anymore, which ones don't you need? This is a great way to save money whenever you get rid of those subscriptions that you are automatically paying for that you realize you don't really need anymore, or you could even go so far as to do a price comparison.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes it makes sense to switch software if it's cheaper and you get more features, and it's not hard to do. I wouldn't recommend switching your email service provider around lightly, for example, that one I would not recommend switching unless you have a really good reason. There are really good reasons sometimes to switch email service providers, but that can cause email deliverability issues, which I don't want to go into too much of a tangent. But I just want to make sure you're aware that you do need to be cautious if you are switching softwares for some reason. So really put down the pros and cons there, but make sure you keep up running the list of your subscriptions and, as you go throughout the year, once you've made this list once, add to it as you create a new subscription. This is something we're working on in our business right now, because we had all of our business credit cards expire in the same month, december of 2023. So we had to redo all of our credit cards and all of our subscriptions and we didn't have a list of them. So that took us a lot more time to figure out where we needed to update the credit cards with a new number and a new expiration date and a new CVV, because we didn't already have a list. So we would have already saved ourselves some time if we had kept this list. So, not only a yearly list, but, you know, keeping it ongoing, all right.

Speaker 1:

So next we want to clean up our computer desktop. I can't I can think of so many customers and friends and family members that I'll go and look at their computer whether it's on a screen share, remote screen share or something and their desktop is a mess. I mean, there is stuff everywhere. How do you even find things like that right? So make sure that you are cleaning up your desktop. I know a lot of people will save things. So a desktop is something quick to do and I have a little tip at the end of this little section on how to Make that even easier. But you want to go through your desktop, organize your stuff into folders, delete any unnecessary files.

Speaker 1:

Now here's my little tip on what I do on my computers. I have a folder on my desktop called the delete me folder. What I put in it is anything and everything that's temporary Things I've downloaded off the internet that I know I'll probably only use once. I know I won't need to refer back to them, unless it's an extreme case. In worst case I could just go get it again Temporary files. So when customers send me like Word documents and things like that that I might just need to look at once, I don't really need to save them into their own folder. I'll put them in the delete me installs, installs for programs. I put them all in the delete me folder. So what that does for me is when I want to do a digital cleanup, I know I can delete everything in that folder and not worry about it. I know everything I put in that folder is not at a loss if I've deleted it. So I have me a delete me folder on my desktop. I prefer to use that rather than the downloads folder. I'm not quite sure why some people do it in the downloads folder, but you know some people store their good stuff in the downloads folder too. So think about how your brain works and what would work best for you.

Speaker 1:

But let's make sure we're cleaning up our desktop and that's one of the tricks that I do and then, conversely, let's clean up your desk. I know that's not a digital device, but it's around us. When we're working on digital devices, you want to make sure it is not cluttered. It's going to increase your productivity. If it's not and I'm actually bad at this too, especially my work desk I do tend to have them a bit cluttered. I do have it as an organized clutter. So find the right balance and don't stress about it too much, because I do find my little bit of an organized clutter works better for me. But there are times I will completely clean it up and go through things and make sure that I just don't have something hanging on my desk that I really don't need anymore, and you might find some things on your desk when you do that and I know I have before that maybe should be turned into something digital, maybe then needs to be scanned. Maybe you don't need a paper version of it anymore and then, when you're organizing your desk, put anything you need daily within arms reach. This is a tip I found out many years ago. But you want anything that you regularly want A pen, your notepad, that you take notes on, your planner, things like that within arms reach so you don't have to do anything but reach out and grab it. And then, if there's anything that you use maybe weekly, maybe have that, maybe a chair roll away, or so Wouldn't necessarily have to be within arms reach if there's not enough room, make it about a chair rolls away and then anything you use, maybe monthly, you could maybe go up and get it. You know, maybe you put it somewhere even farther away from you, but the key is to put things you need daily right there in your arms ring. Think about how many seconds you're going to save by having something right there when you need it, right, alright.

Speaker 1:

So next we're going to go back to our computer and actually our phone here. This is something you can do on both devices. So I want you to first review what programs haven't you used in a whole year? Do you still need them? If not, uninstall them. One is going to clean up your device. It's going to potentially make it run faster because you don't have extra things running on it and, honestly, it could be a bit more secure, because then you have last applications that need to be updated to keep secure. So there's no reason to keep programs and applications that you haven't used, especially if you haven't used them in over a year and you know you're not going to ever use them probably.

Speaker 1:

And what about the applications that you use most often on your phone or your computer? So you want to be similar to your desktop, where we're talking about our actual physical desk top or desk, not the computer desktop. Sorry if that was confusing, but you want to have anything that is an application on your computer or on your phone that you use daily be on your home screen on your phone, or pen to your taskbar if it's on your computer. That way you can get your email quickly. You can get to your social accounts if you do a lot of social media marketing, you can get to those applications that you need right away, super fast and super quick. And then, conversely the things that you don't use very often, maybe organize those into folders, or so I have on my phone like a subfolder for games. I don't really play games that much on my phone, but I put them all in a folder. That way when I do want to play games it's on like the second or third screen on my phone, but they're all together and I know where they are and I don't need them daily because I, like I said, I regularly play games on my phone. So you could do the similar thing to your computer.

Speaker 1:

You know, maybe there's some applications that you use once a month or every couple weeks. You know, tuck that somewhere it's easy to get to but like, not immediately accessible because you don't use it that often and we don't need it to be mentally in our way digitally and you know, kind of clutters our mind, right? And then, finally, we want to look at our own emails. You want to archive them and or delete them. So what do I mean by that? So sometimes we're out of a season of our life. Me, for example, my youngest is about to start college next year and I'm going to have all the kids in college. So I don't need that email folder from when they were in elementary school anymore. There's no reason that I would ever need to reference any of those old emails right and when he's out of high school, I'm not going to need any of the old, say, marching band emails or things like that that I might have wanted to refer to before.

Speaker 1:

Similar things can happen in your business. You might be out of a different season, you may have pivoted your business and maybe you don't ever need those old emails. So if you think you might need them, I would recommend you archive them, which puts them in a special place, kind of out of sight, out of mind, unless you really need them, or delete them if you're really sure you never will need them. Some people like to archive their emails every year and put them in the previous year's folder. I personally don't like to do that because I'm always searching for old emails and sometimes I go back many years and I kind of want it in one place so I can search. But that is a good way to organize, depending upon how you work and who you work with and things like that. Thank you, look at some systems there and see what works for you. And another thing that you can do is sometimes it's a great idea to really think about how you organize your email itself.

Speaker 1:

The getting things done. David Allen likes to talk about having an inbox at zero. For me personally, that's very hard to do. I get hundreds of emails every day and I would, and I have even trimmed them down, I filtered them, I've done all the things, but I still get a lot of emails every day and I'm constantly trying to whittle them down and get less emails. But for me, getting an inbox at zero is actually very hard. But what I have done is created systems so that I don't lose those important emails most of the time. There are some times I do make mistakes. I would get all busy or urgent things.

Speaker 1:

But really look at your email systems. Is it working for you? If it's not, do some googling. I have found some really cool methods for email sorting. One's where you put things into separate folders depending on what you need to do with them. So reply folder, a later folder, a maybe someday folder, things like that. So if your email is really bogging you down, do some quick searching on Google or Bing or your favorite search engine and really look at some email organization methods out there and evaluate them, see if they're for you. Sometimes I've had to change my email organization system just because it used to work for me, but now things have changed in my life and it doesn't work for me anymore.

Speaker 1:

An email can be one of those time sinks and really something that we need to be digitally organizing even more often than quarterly, probably at least weekly at minimum. So this is really a good time, when you do do this digital review, to really step back and assess how are you managing your email and does it really work for you, because it can save you so much time and create your revenue in your business if we're efficient in something as mundane as the email. Right, okay, so let's recap. So, while digital cleanup may sound boring and potentially a waste of time, it can really increase productivity, which, in the end, increases revenue, because we have things where they need to be and we're less cluttered, and which means our mind is more clear, we can be more creative and we can be more productive. So we talked about changing our passwords regularly, whether that's once a year or once a quarter. You really need to look at your own business processes and what works for you, but I recommend at minimum once a year. And then you want to review your business subscriptions make sure you aren't paying for things you don't need anymore.

Speaker 1:

Clean up your computer desktop. If you're one of those people that likes it and there's no shame in it One of those people that likes to have a bunch of stuff on your computer desktop, make sure you're cleaning that up regularly. Also, clean up your desk around you. Like I said again, it really helps your productivity and your creativity if you're not looking at a cluttered area. And your applications on your computer and your phone. Make sure you're deleting any old ones you don't use anymore. It helps your device, it helps you mentally not seeing that application and think when was the last time I used it, or it takes you back to a memory that it's not really necessary. You just need to be keeping going with your life right. And then email cleanup. Make sure you're keeping that as tight as you can find the right balance for you, but it can really help reduce overwhelm and increase your productivity.

Speaker 1:

All right, so that's it for this week's episode of the eCommerce Made Easy podcast. If you're listening to us on our YouTube channel, be sure to hit that subscribe button, and if you're listening on our podcast, be sure to hit the subscribe button there as well, so you don't miss out when we release new episodes and, as always, we appreciate your feedback. Drop us an email to podcast at bcsengineeringcom with any suggestions or questions that you want us to answer on this podcast. Again, that is podcast at bcsengineeringcom. We would love to hear from you and we will see you next week.

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