When I was working on a farm in Italy over a decade ago, I was asked to plant bushes that had been growing in pots.
The farmer asked if I knew what to do. I said “yes, I’ve done this at home.”
For each one, I dug hole, set in the plant, then filled in the rest of the hole with soil.
Afterwards, she came out and started yelling at me. I didn’t understand why she was so angry.
She said “if you didn’t know what you were doing, why didn’t you ask me about it?” I still didn’t understand.
She said, “look at the way the bushes are leaning (from being wind-blown). They should be planted such that the wind will blow them in the same direction.”
Once she said that it totally made sense, but it was something that I had never thought about.
Thus, it never occurred to me to ask about what way to orient the bushes in relation to the wind.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Which is exactly what Linda said to me yesterday.
Linda called me because she was finally ready to tackle “the huge mess” on her computer.
Her surroundings were just as she liked them but her digital world… She was wasting time looking for what she needed. Her inbox was out of control. Archival and delete-worthy files were mixed in with current files.
Clearly, this was actually a two-parter (because everyone knows that cleaning up the mess doesn’t keep the milk from spilling again):
- clean up the digital desktop
- setup the systems to prevent it from happening again
She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.
She knew her digital scene was getting in her way–and that she wasn’t going to put up with it anymore. She also told me that everything was lining up for 2015 to be a stellar year.
What should she do differently??
Linda’s inclination might be to set the goal:
clean up digital desktop by the end of the year.
Yawn… let’s get right on that.
That goal is a prime candidate for some serious procrastination.
What I’d suggest her goal be:
establish a solid foundation for a stellar 2015. Booya.
Yes, with the “Booya”.
Inherent in this, of course, is to clean up the digital desktop.
That tempting carrot of desire
See the difference in perspective?
We humans are motivated by desire.
Which is more compelling to work toward: a clean digital desktop or a stellar 2015? Stellar-ness! Now that’s compelling!
Certainly, she may find enough motivation in the pain of disorganization to do the deed. It was strong enough, afterall, to motivate her to reach out to me.
The question remains: will it be strong enough to last throughout the cleanup process? And what about the systems and flow to do things differently from here on out?
I can’t answer the first question, but the second is a no-brainer: The Walk Tall Organization Mastermind!
Are you ready to create your strong foundation for a stellar 2015?
Join the Walk Tall Sneak Peek teleclass for no charge on September 25th at 10 a.m.
Here’s what we’ll cover in the class:
- Comparison of the most common productivity systems.
- The four principles of organization that will change your game.
- You’ll do a real world, practical application of these principles.*
- Brief review of energy management methodology.
*this is not a sales call–it’s an actual class, we’ll do a hands-on exercise that will free up personal energy and give you peace of mind.
Think of it as tasting a new flavor at the ice cream shop. If you like this class, you’re free to join the Organization Mastermind… in either case, you still get a yummy bite of ice cream to enjoy.
By the way, on the phone with Linda, I gave her a strategy for dealing with massive amounts of irrelevant files. Just in case this is your situation as well, here it is:
Note: this is for the digital desktop that is a huge mess and you want to start with a Clean Slate.
It’s not for those situations in which you’ve been doing pretty well keeping things organized and just need to archive a few files and folders.
Instead of spending HOURS pulling out what you don’t need, focus on what you DO need.
- Get an external hard drive or thumb drive.
- Rename it to: Name of computer + date, for ex. “MacBook Air 09-2014”
- MoveALL of your documents to the external drive.
- Setup your desired file structure on your computer’s hard drive (where you took the documents from).
- When you need a file, go to the external drive and, *before you open the document*, move it to your new file structure.
Within a couple of months, you’ll have all you need and your desktop will be beautiful!