After CES, there’s no shortage of new services, products, ideas, people, markets and other things that are exciting. However, many will not pan out for one reason or another and it’s time to move on. The worst are the zombie deals that won’t die naturally and need the ax.
When going through the storage room in our home, I often debate with my wife about whether it’s time to give certain things to charity. Whenever it’s uncertain – we put a donate date of a year out on a piece of tape. Later, if we haven’t used the item by then, we know it’s time. Zombies in business can be treated the same way.
Sometimes, you just know it’s dead. However, many times in the spring I add a “kill date” to a deal a few months out. This sets a specific timeline and assigns tasks needed for a deal to succeed. It also reminds me to kill it if it doesn’t work out.
Here are a few digital items I clean up annually:
1. Google alerts: Open up the alerts website, delete the ones you haven’t clicked on in the last three months and create new alerts for topics, people and companies that you are tracking this year.
2. To-do lists: Close out existing to-dos or rewrite them so they get done this week.
3. Flagged emails: Close out, forward or just delete them. As a courtesy, before I delete an email or remove a flag, I email the sender, confirming I didn’t do anything and ask if this is still open.
4. CRM deals and tasks: Check out your CRM and look for anything that’s been around for a while without any changes. I like to move deals into a new category in a pipeline for action needed and review with my team to rename, assign new tasks, merge with another deal or delete.
5. Basecamp (project management tools): Besides reviewing my own project list, once a year I go through all tasks that I have assigned to someone else, to clean up the list and close tasks out that don’t have due dates.
Subscribe to i3 Magazine
I3, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry. Subscriptions to i3 are available free to qualified participants in the consumer electronics industry.