Spring is generally when we think about cleaning and organizing our homes, so it’s the perfect time to organize our work lives. However, decluttering and tidying your digital area is equally vital as decluttering your actual home.
Due to the epidemic and lockdowns, there has been a significant increase in the use of linked digital devices during the last year. And the more we use digital space (for example, when working remotely), the more “virtual clutter” we generate. This is terrible news since virtual clutter causes us to become distracted, slower, and less productive.
Productivity is already a hot topic among UK businesses. According to recent data, the country’s productivity is 16 percent lower than the G7 group of industrial nations’ average (ONS survey). In addition, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £520 million Help to Grow scheme to assist small firms in increasing their productivity in the 2021 Budget.
So, what’s the best way to deal with this problem? We’ve put up the recommendations below to help you and your team with step-by-step instructions on cleaning your digital area and becoming more focused and productive at work in 2021.
#1 – Clean up your desktop computer.
According to studies, the average knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours each day, or almost 30% of their working time, looking for information. If your office or desk space is disorganized, you will waste crucial working time searching for documents and information. A cluttered computer desktop is the same way.
It will assist if you begin to think of your computer desktop in the same way you think of your actual desktop: it is critical to maintain it clean and tidy. When it comes to decluttering your virtual environment, starting with your desktop is good. Go through all of the files and folders on your desktop, delete anything that isn’t needed, file what you want to save, and create folders for anything that doesn’t already have a home.
#2 – Embrace ‘inbox zero’ by clearing your email inbox.
The so-called “inbox zero” technique is a terrific way to keep track of the digital garbage that builds up in your inbox—keeping your email inbox clean by archiving or removing anything you don’t need to act on and filing everything else in its proper location.
Start by deleting emails you no longer need because they’ve become digital clutter that will slow you down and divert your focus away from the task.
When trying to empty your inbox, sort it by the sender. Seeing multiple emails from the same individual grouped will help you get things done much faster. Just remember to reverse the sort order after you’re done.
In the future, try to keep your inbox at zero by deleting all emails you don’t need as you go.
#3 – Set a limit on how much time you spend on social media.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by social media. You can’t keep up with the amount of information and messages coming at you quickly. Consider how you can keep it from taking up too much time. Instead of being active on every social feed, you should just use the platforms where your community is most active.
Here, purging is your closest buddy. Make a list of all the groups and platforms you participate in and how they help you advance your career. Then deactivate or remove those that aren’t useful. Make careful to unfollow any sites or groups that aren’t beneficial to you.
Don’t forget to turn off social media notifications to prevent being distracted. This is usually done through your account’s settings and notifications.
#4 – Remove all unneeded apps and programs from your computer.
Don’t be scared to eliminate all of the free apps and programs you never use from your computer because they can slow you down and divert your attention away from the task. If you need them later, you can always download them again.
Too many apps claim to alleviate our worries, yet the sheer number of options and variety might make us sluggish. It’s far better to pick a few apps that save you time and help you be more productive, learn them well, and use them regularly.
Remove any unnecessary applications from your dock or taskbar to only see the shortcuts you need based on what you use at work.
Getting rid of unneeded apps and programs from your taskbar and keeping only the ones you need will help your computer run faster.
Decluttering your virtual area today will help you become more focused and effective at work in 2021 when increasing productivity is a priority for the UK’s small businesses.
Dorothy Spira is the community manager for the productivity and organization software Productive. Evernote