Decluttering and getting organized can be daunting, but the rewards are worth it.
When the time comes for you to tidy up your physical workspace, don’t forget about digital decluttering! A cluttered desktop, messy inbox and overwhelming social media feeds can all lead to decreased productivity at work. You can’t be your most productive self if you’re constantly trying to find things or wading through a sea of notifications.
According to a recent study conducted by CCleaner, a market leader in system optimization software, over 60 percent of British people who cleared up their digital devices felt less stressed as a result. Additionally, 71 percent reported feeling more organized and 69 percent said they felt more productive. The study highlights the importance of organizing your digital life to improve your overall well-being.
Implementing a regular declutter routine can help you reduce stress, increase productivity and feel more organized. The problem is… with so many files on your computer scattered across different folders, how and where to get started? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here are five tips to help you begin a digital detox and start afresh:
Create a declutter plan
The first step to decluttering your digital life is to create a plan. This means setting aside time to go through all of your files, folders and apps to see what you really need and what can be deleted.
The plan will vary depending on the size of your digital life. For example, if you’re organizing your desktop, you’ll need to delete any unnecessary files and shortcuts. If you’re cleaning up your photo library, you might need to delete duplicates or poor-quality photos. In each case, the goal is to eliminate anything that isn’t essential. This process can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to make room for the things that matter.
Use tools and apps
There are tools and apps available that can help you properly organize your digital life, such as cleaning your email inbox, social media accounts and desktop. Here are just a few of the best tools and apps out there:
Unroll.Me: This app helps you to clear out your email inbox by unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters and consolidating all of your subscriptions into one daily email.
Hootsuite Insights: This tool lets you get rid of clutter by offering insights into which posts are performing well and which ones aren’t on your social media pages.
Declutter app: This app helps you clean up your desktop by organizing your files and folders into different categories.
Create a system for storing files and documents
Like most people, your computer or cloud storage is chaotic and full of files and documents that you never use. As a result, it may be difficult to locate things when you need them immediately. Lucky for us, there are several ways around overcoming this common challenge.
One way to do this is to create folders and subfolders for each project or client. You should also create separate folders for different kinds of documents, such as photos, Word files and audio files. Another option is to use tags or labels to help you quickly locate files. Whichever system you choose, the key is to be consistent in how you file things away.
If you use cloud storage, make sure you leverage the metadata, such as formats, auto-tags and file creation date/time, and organizing functions provided to sort and search for files. Last year, Dropbox rolled out a new function called “Automated Folders” that automates folder renaming and the grouping of new files into subfolders. The purpose of categorization is to keep track of items by using standard names and tags. Users can configure the predefined automation rules according to their needs, such as renaming files that are added to a certain folder in a certain pattern.
Automate where possible
One of the best ways to tidy up your digital workspace is by automating where possible, especially when you have to handle a large quantity of new files or emails at work.
Managing your email inbox is always a headache, and automation is a great tool to handle such hassle. For example, if you frequently find yourself deleting old emails, you can set up an auto-delete rule to remove emails after a certain number of days. If you receive a lot of emails every day, you can open different folders, such as “From clients”, “Promotions” and “Invitation”, and set up rules to move the incoming emails to these folders automatically according to the sender addresses. You can also customize auto-response for your email inbox or social media channels so that you don’t have to respond to messages right away. This can give you time to concentrate on the more urgent messages.
Many of us use cloud storage to keep files in sync between our computer and cloud storage. To free up space on your computer hard drive, you can change the default setting and only auto-download certain files onto your device from the cloud storage.
Unsubscribe from unwanted emails
We all get promotional emails from companies we’ve long forgotten about. Some of them are useful, but most are just spam. Unsubscribe from the ones you don’t want and never look back! By unsubscribing from emails that are no longer relevant to you, you can free up your inbox and help yourself to focus on the actually important messages. This process can also help to improve your productivity, as you will no longer be wasting time deleting these meaningless emails one by one.
If you feel like your digital declutter is never-ending, don’t worry, you’re not alone. By following these five tips, your digital life will be more organized and efficient at once. What are you waiting for? Get started with a digital cleanse today!
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