Here’s how to clean your digital space in the spring to be more productive

Messy business: A messy PC can be just as distracting as a crowded office

Spring is traditional when we remember to tidy up and tidy up at home, which makes it the ideal time to put our work lives in order as well. However, tidying up and clearing your digital space is just as important as clearing your physical living space.

In the past year, the use of connected digital devices has increased significantly due to the pandemic and lockdown. And the more we use digital space (e.g. when we work online from home), the more “virtual disorder” we create. This is bad news because virtual clutter distracts us, slows us down, and makes us less productive.

Productivity is already a burning problem for UK businesses. The latest research shows that the country’s productivity is 16 percent below the average of the other members of the G7 group of industrialized nations (ONS survey). In the 2021 budget, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced a new £ 520 million aid program to help small businesses be more productive.

> See also: Four Day Week – How It Could Power Your Small Business

How can you best approach this problem? We have put together the following tips to give you step-by-step measures that you and your team can take to free up your digital space and make work more focused and productive in 2021.

# 1 – clean up your computer desktop

Research has shown that the average knowledge worker spends about 2.5 hours a day, or about 30 percent of the work day, looking for information. If you have a cluttered office or desk area, you are wasting valuable time searching for documents and information. The same goes for a messy computer desktop.

Thinking of your computer desktop as you would your physical desktop helps – keeping it clean and tidy is important. Organizing your desktop is also a good starting point for freeing up your virtual storage space. Search all files and folders on your desktop and delete unnecessary documents and file items that you want to keep. Then create folders for anything that doesn’t already have a specified location.

# 2 – Clear your email inbox and accept “Inbox Zero”.

If you follow what is known as the “inbox zero” approach, you can do a great job of managing the digital clutter that builds up in your email inbox. The aim is to keep your e-mail inbox free, to archive or delete everything that you don’t have to react to, and to put everything that requires action in the designated place.

You can start by deleting emails that you no longer need as they have become digital clutter that will slow you down and take your attention away from the actual task at hand.

Sort your email inbox by sender when trying to delete your inbox, as deleting numerous emails from the same person grouped together will make the deletion process much faster. Remember to change your sort order again afterwards.

Try to stick to “Inbox Zero” in the future by deleting any unnecessary email.

> See also: 3 steps to improve productivity during the pandemic

# 3 – Limit Social Media Consumption

Social media is overwhelming. You can’t keep up with the speed of information and messages directed at you. Think carefully about how to avoid it taking up too much time. For example, you should only use the platforms that your community is most active on, rather than being active on every social feed.

Sink is your best friend here. Write down all of the groups and platforms you use and how they improve your professional life. Then deactivate or delete any items that do not add value. Make sure you don’t spend time following pages / groups that don’t benefit you either.

Don’t forget to limit social media notifications so you don’t get distracted. You can usually do this under your account settings and notifications.

# 4 – Uninstall all unwanted apps and programs

Don’t be afraid of deleting any free apps and programs on your computer that you never use as they can slow you down and distract you from the task that you are focused on. You can always download them again if you ever need them afterwards.

Too many apps promise to take our stress away, but choice and variety can slow us down. It’s much better to find a few apps that will save you time and make you more productive, study them thoroughly, and keep using them.

Also, remove excess applications from your Dock or system tray so you only see the shortcuts you really need, whichever you use most at work.

Deleting unwanted apps and programs and only having the ones you really need on your system tray will clear the clutter and make your computer faster.

At a time when increasing productivity is a priority for the UK’s small businesses, relieving your virtual space in 2021 will help you be more focused and productive.

Dorothy Spira is the community leader Productivity and organization app Evernote

further reading

Working from Home – How to Manage Your Time and Increase Productivity

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