Our digital life today is an unending flow of articles to read, music to stream, people to follow, files to share, Zoom meetings to attend, and so on. In fact, right now, your desktop screen probably looks like a jumble of files and icons, and you can’t remember what exactly you were doing because there are at least 20 tabs open.
With so much digital abundance, it’s easy to feel fatigued and lose sight of what really matters. Also, it’s easy to think that being productive means creating something new and tangible, when in fact, care and maintenance are equally important aspects of productivity.
What we all need, in this age of constant connectivity and stimulation, is a focus on the things that really matter to us. Organizing the digital workspace can go a long way in bringing some clarity and sharpening that focus – which will lead to an increase in productivity as well. Towards that end, here’s how you can declutter your digital workspace.
1. Clear up your desktop screen
Everything looks better when neat and tidy. So it is with your desktop screen. Start by taking stock of all the documents that populate it, then move them into dedicated filing folders that are not on the desktop. Or else, simply delete them. Leave only a bare minimum that you open daily. Next, move your attention to the taskbar and pin only those apps that you frequently use.
2. Organize a folder system
It’s best if you create separate personal and work folders. You can add sub-folders within these to further organize your files. For instance, your work folder could have various sub-folders for your various clients or projects. Such a system will keep everything you need neatly sorted and easily accessible.
3. Delete old files
Just how many files are you hoarding – and since when? Resist the ‘just in case’ mindset and delete those that are not useful anymore. If you’re still hesitant about permanently deleting them, you could move them to an external drive or use cloud storage.
4. Clear out your downloads folder
This is one folder that gets forgotten and ends up occupying a lot of space. Look through the files there; keep what you need and delete the rest without too much contemplation. Don’t lose time on this. If you haven’t felt the need to look for them in the last 30 days, you probably don’t need them at all.
5. Remove old programs
Unless your machine is brand new, you probably have programs installed that you no longer need. Go through all the applications and remove what’s obsolete or anything you haven’t used in the last six months.
Keeping your digital workspace tidy through regular sorting, filing, transferring or deleting can keep your mind uncluttered too! And if it helps, use Momentum, a free browser add-on that brings you a calm, inspiring environment.
Make sure to give yourself some time to declutter your digital workspace, else it can get overwhelming. In the end, the result will be completely worth it.
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