De-Clutter Your Digital Life

June 21 = My New Year's Day.

I've decided that it makes more sense for me to make the first day of summer my New Year's Day.

For me, as a Montréaler, the summer season signals a time for me to focus on my work/life balance. Personally, I find it difficult to get excited about making improvements or changes to my habits and routines when it's -37C and snowing outside. Change comes more naturally to me when seasons change and nothing makes me happier or more excited for change than the first day of summer!

I got this idea from @MikeVardy of TheProductivityist. He writes that he chose Labour Day to be his New Year's Day. One of the reasons he chose that day is that it aligns with his children's school calendars and their schedules heavily impact his routine.

Although I still archive and file documents based on a calendar year and do this and other administrative work at the end of the calendar year, there are other maintenance processes that are required to keep my productivity systems at their best and rather than do it all at once at the end of the year, I have a stable of tasks or projects that I keep for the summer. These are tasks that can be done just as easily in the sun as behind a desk during a winter storm.

The one on the top of my list is the de-cluttering of all my devices - the desktops and bookmarks. I have two laptops, one cell and a tablet and they all need TLC and summer is when I get down to business.

I like my digital desktops to resemble each other ... I hate hunting and pecking for apps because it is in the upper right hand corner of my cell but the second page of my tablet. Because I use my phone more than my tablet, I have made my cell the 'home base' for me. Here is a great tip for figuring out which apps you use the most ... Move all your apps to the last page of your desktop and, as you use them, move them back to first page. You will quickly see what apps you need to keep and what you can delete. Start with your home device and then move on to the other devices. There will be some back and forth as you clean the devices up, but its pretty easy.

Bookmark de-cluttering is next and is quick and easy. Open your Bookmarks Manager and delete what you sites/pages have not visited in the past six months. No discussion. Reorganize your folders: move some, delete some, add others. Set a goal of eliminating at least 25% of your bookmarks and folders, making your searches easier.

Not only is all this digital clutter slowing your devices down it is slowing you and your productivity down.

@Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist wrote a great article with 25 tips or suggestions on digital de-cluttering. It's a quick read with a lot of great take-aways.

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