The New Year is a perfect time for new beginnings in your personal and professional life. But it is possible only when you have a clean slate to work on.
Starting the year on the right note should be about cleaning up your living space, closet, relationships, and workspace. Consider eliminating the redundant stuff and creating space for the new.
While physical purging is easy, you may have a tough time decluttering your digital workspace.
After all, losing critical data and files sounds scary because you may never recover them again. Moreover, it can take loads of time and effort.
However, the immense benefits of a clean and fresh digital workspace make the effort worthwhile because it makes you more productive, efficient, and organized.
While there are no shortcuts for closing the project, you can follow these proven steps for an effective decluttering spree at work.
Begin with an inventory
Before you begin a cleaning spree, you must take stock of your assets. List the files, apps, tools, and emails you currently have in your digital workspace.
Assess and audit them to set aside the redundant and duplicate items you do not require. Think long-term while creating the decluttering list because you should be sure about never needing the stuff again.
Preparing this list is perhaps the most daunting part of the project, but it gets you in the start mode. So do not procrastinate, and start with an inventory a few weeks before the New Year. You will have ample time to clean things up for a fresh start.
Avoid being overwhelmed
Digitally decluttering a busy workspace can be overwhelming, even more, if you haven’t done it for a few months. Most people encounter the situation and get into panic mode, but it is the worst way to deal with the project.
Experts recommend starting small to get a start instead of worrying about the clutter. You can set a daily timer for thirty minutes to capitalize on shorter bursts of focused time to clear the load effectively.
It enables you to get a start and retain momentum. You feel less overwhelmed and are more likely to close the task before the New Year begins.
Start with your computer
Your computer is the center stage of your digital workspace, so it is the best place to start your decluttering project. But cleaning it up may be a lot more work than you imagine.
However, moving step by step is the most sensible solution. Start the project by cleaning the desktop because too many icons stress you out and slow down boot-up time.
Organizing it takes you a step ahead with the cleanup job. Proceed with the next steps, like deleting unused files regardless of age, eliminating other volumes in a container, clearing out downloads, and scrapping unneeded screenshots.
Organize music and photos into folders and uninstall programs you do not use frequently. Wrap things up by purging the digital trash, and your computer will feel instantly light and clean.
Take on email clutter
Once you clean up your computer, it is time to take on the email clutter, which is the next major source of redundant stuff. Your professional email can quickly overflow with messages, so start by checking your inbox.
Delete every email that has been around for a long time. Likewise, get rid of the ones you will never open.
Clean out ads and unsubscribe from unneeded email lists to prevent future clutter. Also, respond to outstanding messages and file documents you need to save.
Follow the goal of getting down to zero unread messages or at least reaching the minimum figure. Going forward, you must archive all emails older than a week.
Tackle your phone
Besides cleaning up your computer and email inbox, you must also tackle your phone because it is also a part of your digital workspace.
Unneeded apps, photos, and music eat into the valuable storage space, so check the redundant stuff and purge it this New Year. Ensure your phone runs the latest operating system for performance, efficiency, and security.
Remember to check the notifications settings because unnecessary ones can cause distractions and disrupt a productive workday. They even drain your device’s battery sooner than later.
Commit to cleaning all devices you use for work to get better with daily tasks.
Cleanse social feeds
Although your professional devices are just for work, you may still use them for browsing social media during break times. You can check LinkedIn for professional networking or other platforms for entertainment.
Social media is a good way to stay in touch and get healthy breaks between your workload (provided you do not overdo browsing).
But you may end up cluttering your computer and phone with social feeds. You may opt for a short sabbatical from social media by deactivating your accounts for some time this New Year.
Alternatively, you can unfollow people and accounts that do not provide value. Also, delete irrelevant accounts and groups you are no longer a part of, such as old college campuses and neighborhood communities.
Utilize the cloud
The cloud takes you a step ahead with your decluttering spree, so it is an excellent companion for the project. You can utilize it for storing everything, from large documents to photos, music, and travel receipts.
The benefits of this virtual storage solution extend from controlling the computer clutter to preventing email from getting unwieldy and even leading to a cleaner physical space.
You can rely on it for going green with less paper load. You can effortlessly scan all your docs and files into the cloud instead of retaining them in their physical form. It helps you reduce the storage needs in your workplace.
Nothing gets better than a digital declutter for your workspace in the New Year. But it should be more than a one-time project because redundant stuff keeps piling up in your zone over time.
Committing to a regular schedule can help you stay ahead of clutter and prevent it from hogging your space again.
I am the the Founder of SuccessGrid and I am so grateful you’re here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring people to always strive to Raise the Standards to Achieve Greatness.