Decluttering Your Digital Workspace

A cluttered space makes a cluttered mind. To free up your focus, it’s important to regularly tidy your physical environment. But even the cleanest workspaces can fall victim to another sort of chaos: digital clutter.

Decluttering Busy Digital Workspaces

How many times have you misplaced a computer file or weeded through thousands of documents to find the right ‘Untitled’ document? It’s time to free up some space, declutter your digital realm and make your day-to-day tasks more seamless.

How to declutter your digital space.

Start with your desktop.

  • Drag lone documents into folders. If you have single documents or images on your desktop, assign them to the appropriate folders.
  • Create parent folders. For example, four folders — payroll out, employee account information, employee vacation remaining, employee sick days remaining — could be dragged into one folder called ‘payroll’.
  • Download a zen wallpaper. A calm ocean or forest scene will remind you to keep your space tranquil.

Tackle your documents.

  • Delete, delete, delete. Identify doubles or documents you no longer need. Yes, this means opening all of those ‘Untitled’ documents to either delete them, or rename them before assigning them to appropriate folders. This can be a daunting task, so…
  • Start with the old. A helpful trick for getting rid of those files you don’t need. Open folders and sort by date, starting with the oldest. Odds are, you don’t need that memo draft from five years ago. Psst, this is also a helpful way to clean up your email inbox: go to the oldest page, select all and delete.

Clear out your downloads.

  • Select all. Most of the images and files we download are of temporary use, or get re-saved into other folders. Is there anything in there you need? Drag out individual files, but you’ll notice there aren’t many worth saving. Then, select all and delete.

When you’re done, keep your space clean. The next time you create a document or download a file, assign it to its proper place before logging off.

De-Cluttering Your Office

Research shows physical clutter damages your ability to focus and limits your brain’s ability to process information.

In order to make the year of 2014 a successful one, it’s important to start it off right. This means optimizing your workplace environment by removing clutter, and therefore stress, while boosting productivity through habits of organization.

It is so easy to become buried in paperwork, despite living in the era of the “paperless office.” One of the most important steps in de-cluttering your office is creating a file organization system. Here are three file organization tips:

1. Create a Daily Document System

Try labeling several folders at your desk by day of the week so you know what has to get done and filed away each day.

2. Designate a Filing Cabinet for Regular Files

Have a designated spot for important documents, and get into the habit of putting files away immediately, rather than allowing them to collect on your desk.

3. Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length

Store past client documents or any files you will not be continuously referring to throughout the year in an office file storage area.

For more tips on office organization, see the infographic below.