Published on September 3rd, 2019 | by Emily Clark0
How Digital Clutter Is Killing Your Productivity (And How To Fix It)
Gone are the days of gathering clutter in the offices and our homes and here to stay now is a new thing called digital clutter. If you thought you could leave clutter at home or in your desk drawers, your computer and phone would like to differ.
From an overstuffed email inbox to scattered folders filled with old photos, hiring documents, and miscellaneous projects, desktops and cellphones can almost feel like they are starting to bare actual weight despite its digital origins.
While technology has proven to be an amazing tool, it can sometimes feel frustrating and distracting in our daily lives. When it gets to that point, then it is time to consider tidying up a bit. Digital clutter can result in slower computers, longer time looking for important files, and distractions caused by things like social media.
Fortunately, there are ways to combat this digital clutter and take back the productivity seemingly being taken away by the screens we are so absorbed in most of the day. By cleaning up our digital lives, it will begin to bring back positivity, clarity, and the productivity that was lost to our overstuffed inboxes:
Look at your email and notice there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of emails that are no longer necessary to keep. Things like “buy me” or “SALE” bombarb our inboxes daily and it can start to bring down productivity and organization if not dealt with properly. Unsubscribe from solicitation emails, and consider using a seperate “burner email” for things like sales and discounts so you can better organize your inbox and keep it free of distraction. Look for apps that can declutter your inbox for you, including unsubscribing from newsletters and sales emails.
“Taking small steps like unsubscribing from emails and newsletters can have tremendous calming effects on our sometimes scattered and cluttered brains,” said Thomas Heath, a project manager at 1Day2write and Britstudent.
Social media can be a huge distraction with pictures of grand beaches, friends on vacations, businesses posting and advertising new products or services. These huge distractions and time wasters can kill productivity. In order to declutter this space and take back that lost productivity, consider getting rid of accounts and social media apps you don’t use on a regular basis. Also, consider deleting Facebook friends that you don’t talk to on a regular basis, reducing friends to just those that you truly care about. Don’t feel bad about deleting “friends” that you don’t speak to on a regular basis, odds are they won’t even notice as Facebook does not notify the recipient that they were deleted. It is your social media account, and you can add and delete anyone you want.
We all have those few apps that we really don’t need but thought we did. Whether it’s a discount app that we used once and forgot or a calendar app with pretty pictures of beaches on it we downloaded on a whim or because of a friend’s recommendation, we probably don’t need it. There are thousands of apps available on app stores on the different mobile phones available in the market today. Many of us have all too many of these apps downloaded on our phones right now, several of which may be unnecessary. Taking the time to go through your app drawer or homescreen and deleting app clutter could make your mind clearer. Consider making folders to organize apps that you do use and keep things clean and organized to make your apps more like a digital library rather than a digital junk drawer.
Others things to consider
While phones are where we spend a lot of our time, our desktops are where a lot of digital clutter begins. Consider cleaning up your computer desktop by deleting unused programs, and put those you do use regularly in folders.
“Digital clutter is a real thing and it can contribute to heavy distractions and anxiety, even if it doesn’t seem like it,” said Jessie Alvarez, a tech writer at Nextcoursework and Australia2write.
Decluttering our digital lives can make us more clear headed and less anxious about our day to day lives, making us more focused and productive.