For the seemingly thousandth time, my phone just displayed the most annoying warning. “iCloud Storage is Almost Full“.


This warning is terrifying, because I know, that if my phone usage doesn’t change, I am a few days away from a far worse and infinitely more frustrating notification.  Soon, at the most inopportune moment, while taking a photo of my girls doing something super adorable my phone will proclaim the  “Cannot Take Photo” notification.


I have tried to solve this recurring tension several ways.  My first attempt was to buy a phone with more storage. This quickly taught me the amount of storage on my phone is irrelevant… I have bought phones with double and then quadruple the storage at various points over the past few years.  It does not matter, I will fill it completely… fast!

My second attempt to solve this was to click the “Upgrade Storage” button on the notification.  For just 99 cents a month, I can add extra iCloud storage.  That sounded like a great deal.  A few months later, this extra purchased storage was full again, and Apple graciously offered even more storage for $2.99 a month.

My guess is that I’m not alone in this “21st Century” struggle.  Today I took the time to address the root issue, I haven’t taken the time to routinely prioritize what is worth saving, clear the clutter, and employ a sustainable system to ensure I don’t keep landing in the same spot again.

Isn’t that a lot like life?  How often do we hear friends, family members or colleagues bemoan the busyness of life? How often do we say, I wish I had more time (code word for “space”).   We too often push ourselves right up to the “Storage is Almost Full” warning, and then look for short cuts, miracle solutions and life hacks to allow us to avoid addressing the root issue and simply add on some productivity tricks we hope will help. Or worse yet, we ignore the warnings and charge headlong towards to point were we simply don’t have the capacity to do the simple tasks of life.

Perhaps, the answer is that we need to try and store less. Perhaps we are not wired to continue to always add stuff.  Perhaps we need to accept that our design and make up has limits.  Perhaps we simply need to take the time to prioritize worth, clear clutter, and systematize sustainability in our lives.

How to Avoid the “Storage Almost Full” Warning in Life!  

  1. Prioritize Worth
  2. Clear Clutter
  3. Systematize Sustainability

I have a propensity to run past the warnings! But I have been on a journey the last few years to proactively address my tendency to reach my “storage” limits using these three steps and to be honest I think I am actually getting a lot more done.

Failure to inventory and address our personal storage levels on a routine basis will eventually lead to the “Cannot Take Photo” moments.  Unfortunately, in life these moments carry far greater consequences than missing a photogenic snapshot.  A “Cannot Take Photo” moment in life leads to disasters like broken relationships, unmet commitments, lost jobs, emotional breakdowns, unfulfilled dreams, and a myriad of other terrifying realities.

Fortunately… the solution is pretty straightforward. Prioritize. Clear. Systematize.  The choice is ours.  The next time you get a “Storage Almost Full” warning, what will you do?


2 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why Effective Productivity is all About Doing Less!

  1. Jason, I think this is great! My personal word for the year 2017 is Declutter. From the beginning of the year I’ve slowly decluttered our home, friendships, work things and it’s definitely increased productivity!

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