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How to Declutter Your Digital Workspace

Posted-on January 2021 By Amy Bates

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​We've spent more time than ever on our electronic devices during the lockdowns. As well as working from home and using them to communicate with colleagues and clients, we've also used them to catch up with friends on video calls and binge on the latest series that has everyone hooked!

As a result of all this, your virtual workspaces are probably looking particularly cluttered right now, including your laptop, phone and any cloud storage you may have. And while you may not know it, having a cluttered workspace will affect your productivity and make it harder for you to focus, whether it's online or in real life.

In a time when we rely a lot on our devices, it's more important than ever to keep things clean and organised.

Here are some ways in which you can declutter and stay organised digitally:

Get your desktop in order

Think about the desktop of your computer as you would your physical desktop. If it's covered with documents and junk, it's tricky to point out what you need when you need it. So delete any files that are not needed, then create folders and move all other documents so they’re easy to find.

Clear your download folder

We're all guilty of accumulating unwanted files in our download folder; sorting through files will not only make it easier to locate newly downloaded files, but will also free up some valuable storage space.

Unsubscribe

Many of us still receive emails that we don't even open, never mind read. So, unsubscribe from all those you're no longer interested in. You can do this easily by searching for "unsubscribe" in your emails. It will bring up all the emails you can unsubscribe from.

Sort out your inbox

Getting your inbox in order will enhance your productivity, especially when working from home and relying on emails to communicate with colleagues.

Delete emails you no longer need, and create a folder for those you want to save. After you've sorted through your inbox you should set up a system to keep your emails organized in the future.

Here is the “Inbox Zero” method:

• Delete: is the email relevant to you? Does it require any action on your behalf? If the answer is no, then banish it from your inbox.

• Delegate: are you the best person to handle this request? If the answer is no, forward it on to someone who is (keep yourself CC’d in and add it to a ‘Delegated’ folder, so you can check on it later).

• Respond: can you answer in two minutes or less? If so, do so, as part of a rule borrowed from David Allen’s popular “Getting Things Done” (GTD) productivity philosophy.

• Defer: will it take longer than two minutes? Place in an ‘Action Required’ folder if so, and move on until you’re ready.

• Do: if you can act on an email’s request within two minutes, do so.

Uninstall unwanted apps

To save yourself more storage space, sort through any apps that you have downloaded to your device and delete those that you no longer use.

Empty the recycle bins on your desktop

Decluttering really is that simple – and it helps to free up storage space, too.