Want To Be More Productive? Clean Up Your Digital Workspace
Cleaning up your workspace can be one of the most powerful actions you can do to increase your productivity. It will give you a clean slate and start with a fresh perspective on things. It also feels pretty darn good. 😉
When times get busy, it can be tough to keep our workspaces tidy. However, there’s truth to the saying “cluttered desk, cluttered mind”. Try to think of cleaning up as a calming, meditative act (like fixing a motorcycle).
The following tips will you to take back control of your digital workspace and stay productive.
Go Desktop Zero
Similar to Inbox Zero for emails, cleaning up your desktop is a good place to start creating order. It gives you a blank slate and helps to organize your cluttered mind.
Once you’ve done that, you can set up a few shortcuts to folders that you access often. But we suggest keeping the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum. A unicolored desktop background can also help some people stay focused.
Delete duplicate und useless files
Next, go through your network files and folders and see which ones are obsolete. You’ll probably find duplicates and old files that you don’t need anymore.
Also have a look in your Downloads folder, this one in particular can be quite crowded — speaking from experience here. I try to delete everything in my Downloads folder, but if you’re uncertain and think you might need something there, create an Archive folder and store them there (never to be touched again).
Now you’re done with sorting your files, the fun part begins. To start, think about the following questions: What are areas of responsibility, which projects are you working on, where do you store information so that you can retrieve it later?
Use this to create a basic folder structure. A good start could be 01 Work, 02 Personal, 03 Admin, 04 Misc. Then, structure the subfolders accordingly. Here it’s important that you work along the principle of MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). It basically means your files should only fit into one folder (mutually exclusive) and all your files should have a place to go in (collectively exhaustive).
Utilize file names
Often overlooked, but still useful. To retrieve information quickly it’s helpful to name your files consistently. Check our blog post on effective file-naming for details on how to use the year-month-day format and how to version your files.
Don’t overdo it and keep calm
Although this should be your north star, sometimes it doesn’t make sense trying to tag every document and save every file in a dedicated place. In the end, you want to be more productive and don’t want to spend more time than needed on naming files.
For those occasions just create a folder that is named Misc or anything related where you put files that don’t fit in any of the other categories.
And if it’s all too much, you can still install Curiosity to easily find things in all your folders and cloud apps.
We hope you found some tips in this blog post that you can apply to increase your productivity. 🚀