Spring cleaning typically means getting to work on dusty windows, stained carpets, and frighteningly full closets at home. But spring is also a good time to tackle neglected chores in your digital life. Let’s be honest, a lot happens in the average workday, schedules are packed, and it’s easy to let non-urgent tasks fall through the cracks. Putting them off for too long, however, makes them much more unpleasant and time consuming when you finally have to tend to them. No more procrastinating! Here are a few digital spring cleaning tasks you can (and should) conquer today.
Empty the (Email) Trash
Between old calendar invites, quick “thank you” responses, and mega threads that somehow descended into the world of cat memes, the typical inbox is a crowded, distracting, and sometimes a scary place. Block an hour to clean out the clutter. Delete emails you don’t need, archive completed conversations, and organize active correspondence into appropriate folders. A well-ordered inbox will give you the same sense of satisfaction as a clean closet.
Update Contact Lists
Have you ever had to reach out on a time-sensitive matter only to find that most of the contacts and corresponding information in your files are largely useless or blaringly outdated? Don’t fall into that trap. Comb through your contact lists to ensure that email addresses, phone numbers, and Twitter handles are up to date. Double check titles and company affiliation (LinkedIn is great for this), and ensure that you’ve added any new associates and their pertinent details to your files.
Recommit to Social Media
Are your social media profiles collecting dust (spring-cleaning pun intended)? Social media is only effective for driving traffic, networking, and establishing partnerships if you use it properly. Update biographical information, respond to queries and comments, incorporate multimedia, and engage with your audiences. New platforms are popping up seemingly every day, but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them equally. Identify those that make the most sense for you and your company, then focus your effort on making (and keeping) those channels fresh.
Revisit Your Messaging
Untended messaging stales over time. The market is constantly changing, so why would you want to keep your stated goals and function untouched? As your position or company evolves and adapts to the landscape, it’s critical that your public profile keeps pace. How has your company grown in the last year or two? What new objectives does your team have? How has your organization adapted to the many developments in the space? What differentiates your business from competitors? Are you leveraging current terminology to define what you do? Ensure that clear messaging communicates the answers to these questions.
Bonus Points: Website!
If you are all squared away on the aforementioned professional cleanup duties, now is the perfect time to roll up your sleeves and spackle your website. You’ll want to make certain that any new messaging aligns across all pages and excess or outdated information is trimmed. Here are some initial pages beyond the home page that commonly require an annual spring cleaning:
- About: Communicate your products and services in a way that appropriately reflects your company. Your style, tone, and diction should reflect the way you want people to view your brand.
- Team: If your site includes employee contact information, ensure that there are no former employees lingering on this page and that all new team members have been added. You might also consider featuring employee photos (or updating old ones) for a fresh touch.
- Services: Do you have clear calls to action? If not, you’re missing valuable opportunities to capture new customers. Make it easy for your audience to find what they need, and guide them to the actions you’d like them to take.
- Careers: Your careers page is one of the first places potential candidates look, so make sure it represents your company culture appropriately and has up-to-date openings with accurate descriptions.
Facing neglected chores can feel daunting, but clearing the decks—even the virtual ones—really does produce a sense of order and peace of mind. Once you’ve completed these tasks, you may even be inspired to tidy up your actual office! Happy Spring cleaning, everyone. And, if you need a hand, we’re here to help.
Pouneh Lechner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at @pounehl.