Thursday, September 1, 2016

8 Things I Am Discovering While Decluttering My Hard Drive

I have little tolerance for clutter. I routinely spend time purging and organizing. I’ve enjoyed doing so throughout my life. Friends have acknowledged this propensity for order for as long as I can remember. Hence the gift pictured below. 

There’s been one exception to this orderliness—what’s saved on my computer's hard drive.

I recently realized that I could not procrastinate on this matter. I noticed I had been increasingly unable to find folders and files. I felt like I had to look at what I had accumulated. 

So I’ve decided to spend some time a few days each week to look at documents I’ve saved. It’s been a painstaking and sometimes tedious process—but I continue to find it inspiring. Here are 8 things I’ve discovered so far.

  1. Ideas for new blog posts and other general interest articles (like this one);
  2. New ideas to explore and turn into peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and/or books;
  3. A reminder about the organizations and individuals I’ve worked with, and the impetus to reflect on what I learned from them; 
  4. A reminder about the different kinds of projects I’ve completed, and the impetus to reflect on what I learned from them;
  5. A reminder about professional successes—and failures;
  6. A trigger to reach out to people in my network with whom I haven’t communicated in some time;
  7. Humility. I marketed my services to a long list of individuals and organizations who did not hire me; and
  8. Awareness of new connections between past reading, writing, speaking, teaching, client work and what interests me now. 
In sum, my trip down memory lane continues to be worthwhile. I plan to take it more regularly. How about you? I believe you’ll be surprised by what you discover among the myriad folders and files.  

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