How much high school Spanish do you remember? Can you string together a grammatically correct sentence? Or, are there simply errand words that come to mind? Our brains do not keep all of the information we have learned. It knows the information to which we refer on a regular basis and keeps that information top of mind, but gets rid of the rest.
Our brains go through a “pruning” process, reinforcing neural connections for information we want, and uses its pruning cells (microglial) to systematically cut the connections to the information that we don’t use, according to Judah Pollack and Olivia Fox Cabane writing in a Fast Online Newsletter. So, “use it or lose it” is a true statement.
“[Using its ‘delete button’…] is how your brain makes the physical space for you to build new and stronger connections so that you can learn more.”
— “Your Brain Has a Delete Button. Here’s How to Use It,” Fast OnLine Newsletter Post, 5.11.2016.
Be brain-like. Your office space is like your brain. You have a limited amount of physical space, and your Records Retention Plan (RRP) should empower you to prune the obsolete documents out of storage to free up space.
Space comes at a premium when you are paying for physical records – in your office’s basement (most of the time) or if you are using an off-site facility. Besides the use of the physical space, you are challenged with easily finding what you have in storage. Even if you get the right shelf, you next get a box and have to troll through that box for a physical document. While it made sense at the time you put your records in storage, when it comes time to retrieve that document, somehow, it is always more difficult.
Grasping for hmmm, what is that word?. I know that I used to have a large vocabulary in Spanish back when I was learning and practicing the language every day. For some reason, I thought it would be like riding a bike – never forget. Not the case. You don’t want your process and protocol to be forgotten, too.
To be more “brain-like” you should build newer and stronger processes with an enterprise content management system for your records management. ECM will ensure your structured and unstructured content is safely stored AND easy to retrieve. The hassle of finding material or even cordon it off for special purposes (like auditors) will make your operations into the more manageable.
Smart organizations, small and large, graduate to digital archives and records management with their content management system. Consequently, they are on track with their destruction plan, saving only what they need and easily managing and retrieving their records. They have cleaned up their physical space and saved money in the process.
Joanne Novak is a program manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. and is responsible for program development with the company’s Business Intelligence groups, including the Intelligent Information Management (IIM) practice. Her responsibilities are to build sales and customer-facing educational and thought leadership insights as well as strategic initiatives for IIM.