Every new year brings with it a fresh start and a new set of resolutions. One new year’s resolution you can make that will help set you up for success is to maintain an organized workspace all year long. Much like you should keep your physical workspace clean and clutter free, you should also do the same for your digital work space.
Your online workspace can get bogged down with what’s known as digital clutter. This digital kind of clutter refers to the overwhelming amount of documents, downloads, images, or apps that may be clogging your phone or computer. If you find that your devices are often slow or it’s hard to find things you need online, it may be time for you to re-organize your digital workspace.
Use the following tips to kick the year off with a digital deep clean that will help you be more productive and stress free.
1. Label Your Emails
Did you know that about 35% of all emails go unopened? One culprit of missed emails is a cluttered inbox. If you’re finding that important emails from clients or your boss are going unread, it may be a good time to reorganize your inbox.
You can easily bring order to your inbox by implementing labels and filters. Create filters for important email addresses (like your boss or clients) and label emails as “To Dos” or “Needs Reply” to help sift through the clutter. Your labels will filter what’s important by categorizing them in your inbox. With just a few important places to check instead of a never ending inbox, you’ll be more productive and less likely to miss something urgent.
2. Tidy Your Desktop
If you can no longer see the background of your desktop because it’s filled with documents, files, and icons, it’s time to do a digital deep clean. Start tidying up your desktop by going through and deleting any duplicate files. Once the excess is cleared away, you can sort everything into clearly labeled folders.
Only keep folders or files that you use everyday on your desktop because having too many can slow down your computer. Be choosy about what you keep and tuck everything else away into the appropriate folders or drives like “Documents,” “Downloads,” or “Pictures.” It’s even better if you use the cloud to store your files so that you free up storage on your device and speed it up.
3. Purge Your Phone
Do you have to scroll through too many screens to get where you want to go on your phone? If so, it’s probably time to purge your phone of excess apps, pictures, or messages.
Start by going through your apps and deleting anything you haven’t used in the past month. You can always redownload something if you need it, but chances are you’ll find it was just taking up valuable storage space.
Next go through your messages and set a rule to delete anything older than a certain time. You can try taking a baby step by deleting anything over a year old or you can be more ruthless and delete anything over 3 weeks old.
Finally, tackle your camera roll. Before you delete anything, it’s good to back your pictures up to the cloud or a personal hard drive if you want to save your memories. Once you have any special photos saved, you set a goal to cut the amount of pictures you have in half. After freeing up all this space on your phone, it will probably be a lot faster at loading and also have an improved battery life.
By decluttering your digital devices, you can be more productive and improve the quality of your devices. These benefits will help you do your best work in the long run and set you up for personal and professional success. After decluttering your digital space, you may be hooked on the benefits and experience. For more ideas on how to start practicing digital minimalism, check out the infographic from The Zebra below.
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