4 Reasons to Resist Squirrelling Information AwayI have a confession to make, I’m guilty of information hoarding. I’m a resource glutton, an info squirrel, a collector of wisdom and knowledge. Being this way is fantastic when I or someone I know has a problem. I generally can dig through my library of freebies, opt-ins, and online courses to offer a solution. Unfortunately, more often than not there isn’t a crisis that needs resolving. During lulls, my dragon’s hoard of information grows and grows to an unreasonable size. If I’m being honest, I have far more information than I could probably consume.
You might be wondering what the harm is in being an information hoarder. “So what if I have a mountain of information?” You wonder. “What’s wrong with being prepared?” The tricky thing about information gluttony is that technically nothing is “wrong” with your collection. The problem is more that information hoarding gives you a false sense of preparedness and can distract you from actually making improvements in your business. Here are a few reasons I recommend that you step back from being an information glutton (and why I’m dialing myself back, too.)
Having Too Many Resources Can Be Overwhelming
If you have 100 different downloads, even if they’re about different topics, it can be difficult to decide where to start when you finally decide to make a dent in your collection. If the resources are across a variety of areas of business (finances, social scheduling, copy writing, etc.) it can be even more devastating because not only do you have to pick the resource you’d like to start with, but you have to prioritize a particular area of your business to work on first. It’s often much easier to sweep our collections under the rug than to pick a starting point, which brings us to our next point…
The Information Doesn’t Work If It’s Collecting Dust
If you aren’t actually implementing the strategies and tips outlined in the resources you’ve collected, having the resource doesn’t actually help you. Your business blog doesn’t get any benefit from having 50 articles saved on your hard drive about SEO. Unless you implement the improvements in all of those fact sheets, you’re not getting anywhere by having them.
The Resources May Be Out of Date
Have you collected information over the last few years about social network algorithms, Facebook Ad targeting, or any other tech need? See how old the resource is. Facebook and Instagram algorithms in particular appear to change with the tides. There is a very real chance that the information is outdated if it’s a year old.
You Could Be Spending Your Time More Wisely
Think of all the time you invest in finding information products to teach you how to improve your business. Include the time you spend trawling the internet for resources and reading the lead page or blog post which tells you about the thing once you’ve found it. Don’t forget to include giving out your contact details and then grabbing the download from your email!
Imagine if you spent that time actually improving your business? If you implemented information from even one of the resources you’ve squirreled away, think of how much better off your business would be. This could be any one resource that you’ve stockpiled. Think about it, instead of having the tools available to get your website on the first page of Google, you’d be there. Instead of just having the details on your computer, you’d be taking astounding flat lay photos. Rather than having a guide about when to post on social, you’d be optimizing your social sharing calendar to get maximum views and engagement.
So Now What, Fellow Information Hoarder?Now we commit to clearing out the clutter. Go through your resource hoard. Are there things you can’t or won’t use? That might look like guides for a social network you don’t use, out of date facts about a tech topic, or any information product you have already used and implemented. Delete anything that you don’t actually need.
If you’re like me, even when you get rid of the junk and frills you still have WAY too many useful resources. Dedicate yourself to spending a little time each week to reading and USING them. Make a pact with yourself to read and use what you already have hidden away. Keep your own notes of the important takeaways on each subject so you’ll have your own master resource list to reference, but get rid of the originals. If you don’t have the heart to delete them outright, put them into an “Implemented” folder so you can track your progress as you sift through the pile. You’ll be surprised if you make time to go through just one of these guides per week what a difference you can make.
Want the Enterprise by Design community to help keep you accountable? Join our Facebook group and share your progress. We’ll see how many of these tools and resources we can knock out, together.