Published 25 June 2017
The amount of time we’re spending on the computer these days is only increasing. The average person will spend 8 hours a day at work on the computer, only to then come home and continue to use the computer for recreational purposes or to watch television shows. Just as a clean and organised home allows clarity of head space, a decluttered and organised computer increases efficiency and productivity, and makes using a computer an easy and pleasant experience. Make sure you tackle the following when performing a digital declutter.
Inbox: An unorganised or jam packed inbox makes work seem daunting and overwhelming, and makes it more likely for you to miss important emails. Create folders for you to file away actioned or read items into – this leaves only pending or new emails in your inbox and shows you clearly what still needs to be read. In addition, you can set rules so that emails with certain content or from a certain sender will automatically be filed into a folder of your choice, reducing the amount of admin you have to do and leaving you with more time to focus on important tasks.
Songs: Got a collection of songs sitting on your computer? Go through and delete any that you know you’re not going to listen to anymore, and make sure that the ones you are keeping are labelled properly with the title and artist. This helps you find songs easily and makes your iTunes or media player instantly more organised and user friendly.
Old documents: Everyone has old documents from past projects/assignments/tasks sitting in folders on the computer. Make sure any that are no longer required are deleted to free up disk space.
Folders: It’s extremely important to have a structured folder system, particularly when using a computer for work. Make sure folders are clearly labelled and all important documents are saved properly and consistently. If you have a high volume of files, sub folders can help organise things further. Trying to find a specific file within an unorganised folder is time consuming and frustrating – a proper folder system avoids this and greatly increases efficiency as you know where everything is saved at all times.
Social Media: Time to update your friends list and remove anyone who you no longer want on your social media. You can also unsubscribe from particular posts that you are not interested in but are clogging up your news feed – this leaves more space for the posts you do want to see.
Bookmarks: Have a look at your browsers and delete any bookmarks or saved favourites that you no longer use. Also add bookmarks for sites that you frequent – this will save you time as you won’t need to type in the site url every time you want to visit it.
Desktop: A cluttered desktop full of unused files and shortcuts makes finding things tedious and inefficient. Make sure your computer desktop is clear and organised and only contains relevant icons.
Disk Clean: This is probably the most important step of a digital declutter. Use a disk cleaning program such as CCleaner to remove any unneeded files on your hard drive, such as old temporary files created by programs or internet browsers, error logs and old browsing history. A clear hard drive runs much more efficiently than one that is full of unnecessary files, which in turn increases the overall performance of your computer and gives you a more pleasant user experience.
Whilst it may take a little effort to initially declutter your computer, the time saved in return makes it completely worthwhile as your computer will run at optimal efficiency and you will have more time to focus on the task at hand, be it for work or simply relaxation.