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TB#34: The Digital Cleaning Day: Streamlining Your Online Business for Greater Productivity


Never build as a side business what feels like work.

Keeping it lean, mean and simple is key. You don’t want to build a job. You have a unique change to design it all to look exactly how you want it to look like. So why not build yourself a utopia?

With that in mind, let’s address this week an almost unavoidable future situation.

And that’s building until it’s all a chaotic vortex of stuff to do and remember…

It’s time for some housekeeping!

Clean Up Your Act

When you get in the habit of doing at least something every day for your digital empire building, it’s not just your product or service that grows.

But it’s all the adjacent stuff as well!

First, there’s the email subscriptions, SaaS gizmos, trying out new stuff, all the DM convos, everything!

And at some point, it just becomes too much to handle, no matter how many “magic minutes” you fit into your days. And even that’s not all. As time goes by, you’ll notice you want to create new products, systems, freebies, giveaways, automations, lists… You call it “good planning for the future”… but all it does right now just makes your life miserable with all the unnecessary and complicated maintenance it requires.

And when you break something in the machine, it all comes down like a house of cards.

After discussing with a lot of people over Twitter DMs last week, I know a lot of people suffer from this.

What’s worse, some people even WANT this to happen.

“I’ll have these 3 freebies, with these 2 products, which I will splice and offer in pieces like that.”

All good, sounds great! Except that for a 1-person operation it’s like totally not.

So, a periodical act of cleaning up all the crap is a must-do.

During my 15 years of building online, here’s the top-3 things you should include in your cleaning day:

1. Taming the Email Beast

The primary contributor to digital clutter is always the dreaded inbox. You’ll end up inevitably subscribing to various newsletters, promotional deals, and other random offerings that end up lost in the sea of unread emails.

Start by unsubscribing from everything you typically just delete upon sight.

If it doesn’t add value to your side business or personal growth, just let it go.

Then create two new folders: one for stuff that you “kind of want to keep” but don’t read frequently. You have some creator heroes, I’m sure, that you know deliver value but you just don’t have the time to read right now. So, create a rule/filter or whatever it’s called in your email client that places those emails neatly there.

And then, the second one is more important. Create a folder called “study closely” where you route (automagically, of course) the emails from the 2-4 people you REALLY want to learn from.

This is important.

You can’t learn from everyone, or you’ll end up learning from no-one.

I think I first understood this by studying Kieran Drew who recommended doing this.

Ace tip.

And then, block time in your calendar, even if it’s just 15 minutes per week, to read emails from that folder! Or, when you need inspiration, you know where to look for. That folder!

Do it.

2. Product Purge and Repurpose

If you’re anything like me and just can’t stop building, you’ll have pile of digital products over time – old eBooks, courses, or other materials that once felt like good ideas to build but are now just… somewhere in your Google Slides or Drive. Sitting. Doing nothing.

It’s super easy then feel anxiety or overwhelm because you want to keep everything up-to-date or relevant.

Bleh. No.

Give yourself permission to let go.

The old stuff can serve a new purpose without the need for them to feel like a burden. Offer them as bonuses or just start splicing (I believe the hip term is repurposing) them into social media content.

Just post parts and pieces of them on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Tear them apart and just shoot.

Hit publish.

There’s some weird joy in destruction of this kind.

Reduce headache, easy and good content –> win-win!

3. Purging the Perpetual To-Do List

While this might be not the most immediately impactful, I’ll admit this one brings me the most instant relief.

See, I kinda like brainstorming to-do items. To come up with more and more of stuff to do.

But then they end up piling, with only a fraction of them done at any given point in time.

So let’s make a rule of thumb here.

If a task has been sitting untouched for a good while (no hard limits here, but you’ll recognize those tasks when you see them), just face it: You’re not going to do it.

Throw it in the bin.

It’s an incredibly relieving experience to have an empty to-do list, even if it’s at the expense of throwing away your ideas that you once thought are great.

I mean, they might still be. So, consider having an archive – a backlog of sorts, where you dump old todo items!

When your to-do list at least somewhat accurately represents your active projects and worthy goals, your productivity increases, and you’ll just feel better overall.

And that’s it for this week… do those three and watch your peace of mind multiply!

Finding Joy Again

Simple is the best.

It’s easier to be happy anyway when there are not many moving parts in life.


About the author 

Simo Hosio  -  Simo is an award-winning scientist, Academy Research Fellow, research group leader, professor, and digital builder. This site exists to empower people to build passion projects that support professional growth and make money.

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