Clutter exists everywhere and can be suffocating. This is especially true in the digital space. Everyone experiences this and it can quickly and easily turn into an episode of hoarders. Messages, files, subscriptions, tools and notifications pile up at breakneck speed and it becomes very easy to ignore, which can cost you greatly. The glossy, new ‘I have to have it’ of yesterday is forgotten at the back of the digital closet likely never to be seen or thought of again.
Just as in physical spaces, digital clutter has an unfavorable impact on your productivity, mood and mental well-being. We end up spending so much time accumulating things (newsletter sign ups, etc.) we more likely than not will never use, and time, money and resources that we can’t get back.
To help declutter your digital space you can:
- Turn off unnecessary email notifications from social networks and platforms – do you really need to get an email every time a contact changes their profile picture?
- Slow down the frequency of updates – if you can scale down the number of emails flowing into your mailbox from 10 a day to 1 per week you are on the right track
- Select topics you are actually interested in – media trends – yes, cat video of the day – no
- Take a few minutes (during your lunch break) every day to clear/organize your desktop – clear desktop, clear mind
- Delete files that are no longer necessary and archive the one’s you will need to refer to later – Monthly business report – save, 2012 minutes – bye bye
- Set up auto delete for your inbox – if it’s older than 30 days and hasn’t been saved, you don’t need it
- Stop subscribing to every email list you see (but get people to sign up to yours)
- Clear up one thing at a time – multi-tasking only works up to a certain level
To help you along you can try these tools:
- Dropbox: You won’t need to constantly back up your data and it makes it easier to collaborate on projects with your team all whilst saving you space on your computer and desktop
- LastPass: Trying to remember every password you have ever created can be a nightmare. This tool securely stores and protects passwords across all your devices
Decluttering your digital space won’t happen overnight, so take it one day at a time. It can be difficult and will take a great deal of commitment, but it is possible.