Working remotely may have eliminated nuisances like a daily commute, but it also means you’ve likely been hit with digital overload. Even if you are in the office every day, you may still have a cluttered digital life that is getting in the way of productivity and even adding to your daily stress level.
Cluttered digital lives affect us much in the same way as a cluttered home. It can take longer to find something you’re looking for, create anxiety and stress, and slow down your productivity. From messy desktops (quick – how many files are saved on your desktop right now?) to blurred lines between work and home, a cluttered digital life can start to interfere with your day-to-day.
How do you break the cycle of a cluttered digital life? Let’s take a look at how to declutter your digital life and what benefits you will enjoy after you go through the process.
Ways to Reduce Digital Clutter
If you suffer from a messy digital life, have tech fatigue, or merely want to improve your productivity at work, here are ways to declutter your digital life at work (and home, too!):
Create a Digital Separation: One of the biggest hurdles that has popped up over the last decade, and even more in the last two years, is a very blurry line between work and personal life for many workers. How many times have you been working on a project one minute, then the other minute you are emailing teachers about your child’s homework?
While multitasking is certainly admirable, jumping back and forth can create inefficiencies. Set aside time either that is most convenient during your day to focus on non-work-related digital tasks. While you may not be able to stick to this 100% of the time, it can help you reduce some of the digital “noise” in your life.
Turn Off Notifications: The average smartphone user gets as many as 63.5 notifications per day. Add on top the countless desktop computer notifications from emails and websites you quickly understand how being connected through our digital lives creates unnecessary clutter.
If you constantly pickup up your smartphone to reply to a text message or check social media notifications or stop a task to respond to an email, consider turning off notifications during your workday. Most smartphones can “snooze” notifications or go into “do not disturb” mode.
Clean Your Desktop: You know that feeling when the entrance to your home is cluttered with shoes, sporting equipment, toys, and yard tools? It feels chaotic and unmanageable.
Your desktop is very similar to your foyer or entryway – it’s the first thing you see when you sit down at your desk. Cluttered desktops can create a sense of disorder. Instead of saving a file to your desktop out of convenience, save it in its proper place from the start.
Create a Folder System: A good folder structure can save you time and help improve productivity at work. Not sure where to start or how to organize your folders? It’s best to come up with a system that mimics how you work.
Do you work on one project at a time? Set up folders by project name. Work on a time-based system? Set folders up by month or quarter.
Pro tip – create a template that contains your desired folder structure and copy and paste it for each new project or task.
Delete Contents of Downloads Folder: Your downloads folder is a key factor in your computer’s operating system. Many people overlook their downloads folder when trying to free up space on their computer, however, this is a very easy task to do to help keep your computer running in tip-top shape.
Deleting digital files you don’t need is generally good maintenance and doesn’t harm your computer. Not sure where to find your downloads? Check out this step-by-step guide on where to find your files.
Clear Out Your Email Inbox: Ugh – the dreaded email inbox! Chances are you have hundreds of emails sitting in your inbox. This creates an unmanageable “to-do” list and not only can it be stressful it can also make things hard to find easily and quickly.
Just like your folder system for saved files, create a folder system within your email inbox to help you organize and sort emails. There are many ways to approach this task, either by sorting by sender, topic, or follow-up. Many email platforms have built-in tools to keep you organized, too. Outlook, for example, offers a “follow-up feature” that will let you tag certain emails and assign a deadline for follow-up.
While you may never get down to just a few emails, taking time to sort and organize what you have can help you get on the path to productivity!
Click the Unsubscribe Button: Speaking of cluttered inboxes, how many emails do you receive and immediately delete without reading? Even though this takes mere seconds, unsubscribing can save you time – and stress – in the long run. Imagine opening up your email on Monday morning and not having to sort through what needs attention and what can be deleted? Get that inbox under control and keep it that way.
Benefits of a Digital Declutter
A digital declutter not only helps create control and organization in your work and personal life, but it can also have other tangible benefits. Specific benefits of a digital declutter include:
- Fewer Distractions and Improved Productivity: When you separate your work and personal digital life, turn off notifications and digitally declutter, you will be surprised how many fewer distractions you have in your 9-to-5 day. With fewer distractions, you will have more time to focus on the task in front of you.
- Improved Computer Performance: Anytime you delete files from your computer, it frees up memory space and more memory space = improved performance. Delete old files, emails, and even unused programs and applications to help improve your computer’s performance.
- Reduce Stress: The biggest advantage of any kind of decluttering, whether physically or digitally, is reducing the amount of stress in your life. We could all use that, right?
Managed IT Services for Businesses
Are you ready to start a digital declutter at work but aren’t sure where to start? At Everound, we can help you devise a strategy to create digital efficiencies for you and your team members using customized cloud services storage solutions, systematic folder structures, and creating best-practices and systems for your entire organization.
As a managed IT services company, Everound focuses on your IT so you can focus on your business. We offer IT consulting, cyber security services, disaster recovery, hardware and software installation and maintenance, cloud storage solutions, and more. Reach out today to find out how we can help you improve the information technology at your business.