Monday, December 2, 2013

Delete is my favorite action

It’s easy to forget names. Or how you know someone.

That’s why I’ve made it a habit to enter all kinds of information about those I meet into my contacts program. I keep my desktop and smartphone synchronized, so I have virtually everyone I know at my fingertips.

Want the name of our guide in Rome? 
Do you need a great carpet cleaner?
Looking for a vacation rental in Florida?

I have all kinds of data in my device. Years’ worth. Spanning many vacations, networking events, and clients past and present. I have info about home projects, medical professionals, and friends and frenemies.

Names come up on the screen, and I can barely remember who many of them are or why I keep them on file.

Today, I ran into a glitch with my synching software. In sorting things out, I decided it was time to clean up my act.

I was ruthless.

People who had asked for quotes on projects, but never ended up hiring me? Delete.

People who had hired me for projects, but had since left those jobs and those careers? Delete.

People who were deceased? Delete.

I kept hitting delete until I could say for each and every name: Oh yeah, I remember them.

When I finally stopped, my contact list was 30 percent smaller, and I felt 100 percent better.

I hadn’t counted on the psychological lift of slimming down all those names. It felt great to keep only those who matter most and make them easier to find.

Of course, I can find all those others, too, if need be. They're on the Web somewhere. They just don’t need to be in the palm of my hand all the time.

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