September 22, 2020

How to: Declutter Your Digital Space

Let’s be honest, having a totally cleaned out inbox or a completely crossed off to-do list is one of life’s great joys. Clean digital workspace can help your focus and productivity. So what can you do to declutter your digital space? 

  1. Put in a gap.  Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University, said many people succumb to what he calls the list/reactive method: They instantly react to communication. That means answering texts, emails, messages as soon as they pop up and therefore constantly interrupting their workflow. Waiting to answer messages until a time that’s more convenient for you can help you stay focused and actually make progress on your work.
  2. Set a schedule. Set aside time to focus on work communications and then let your colleagues know when that is. Sticking to “office hours” can be surprisingly helpful.. Going from a Zoom video to a call with your kid’s school to texting about social plans with friends can blur the lines between personal and professional. Dr. Newport says, “It blends together the lives completely, You’re never not working. You always feel behind.”
  3. Take control of your inbox. If you have to delete tons of promotional emails everyday, the consider unsubscribing. Having less to go through everyday will save you time and help you feel like you’ve accomplished something at the start of your day! 
  4. Streamline your workflow. If you are collaborating with a team, emails threads can get long and if you have multiple streaks of communication, it can get confusing. Having a streamlined and structured process “substantially reduces the number of simultaneous, asynchronous back and forth conversations happening,” Dr. Newport said.

What ways have you found to declutter your digital workspace? 

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