If the nature of your work requires you to spend a lot of your time on a computer or mobile device, chances are you might be suffering from a case of “digital clutter.” Due to the prevalence of computer and mobile devices in the modern workplace, accumulating an unmanageable amount of digital junk is easy.
To operate your business effectively, it’s crucial that your keep your email inbox and digital files organized, and equally important to get rid of files you no longer need.
Here are 10 ways you can reduce your digital clutter and get more work done everyday.
1. Streamline your emails. If you can get an email answered in two minutes or less, answer it right away. If not, move it to a “work in progress” folder that you’ll come back to later as to not disrupt your workflow or focus.
2. Old Documents. You probably don’t need everything in your “Documents” folder. You’d likely delete half of them anyways and not think twice. If you’re concerned about deleting them completely, move them instead to an archive folder so they aren’t taking up space in your most-used locations anymore.
3. Software/Program/Apps. Your computer or browser is likely full of software programs or apps that you don’t use regularly. Spend a few hours and figure out what you need most. Delete any that don’t add value to your work day to clean up space on your hard drive and get your machines running faster. You can also perform a disc clean-up (or defrag) to clean up disc space on your computer and speed up your system.
4. Desktop Icons. Keep your computer’s desktop as clutter-free as possible. Doing so helps you clear your workspace so you can concentrate on the most important tasks throughout your day.
5. Streamline Folder Structure. Unless you’re accustomed to searching each time you need to locate a saved document, you need to set up a good folder system. Before doing anything, though, you should go through your computer and delete any folders that are empty. Develop a nomenclature naming system to maintain consistency with your files and make them easier to find.
6. RSS Subscriptions/Email marketing. Unsubscribe from any blogs that might no longer be updated or relevant to your interests. You should also consider unsubscribing from any newsletters/advertisements that are no longer adding any value to your day-to-day. Doing so should only take a few seconds by clicking the “Unsubscribe” link on the bottom of the email.
7. Internet Bookmarks. Get rid of bookmarks that are no longer needed and use a folder system to make those left easier to navigate.
8. Use a Password Manager. It might be useful to use a software such as 1Password, which will provide you with the security of choosing a different password for each of your protected accounts, but without the headaches of having to remember them all.
9. Delete Old Contact Information. Get rid of any contacts that you no longer need, and update any information that needs to be updated. Doing so will help you keep your contacts folder clutter-free and efficient.
10. Clear Your Cookies. Cookies are a small packet of text that your web browser saves to store information unique to your browsing habits. Not only do advertisers use this information to target advertising towards your browsing history, but cookies can also slow your browser down. Clear them regularly to speed things up.