#22: Clean your (digital) House

Cleaning the house is one of those things I always dread doing, but after finishing it just feels amazing. My shiny kitchen inspires me to cook healthy meals again, my bedroom feels like a hotel, and I enjoy having a dust-free floor for 5 minutes until my cats ruin everything with their dirty paws.

I think most of you can relate to this feeling.

But how do you feel about your digital home – your computer?

When I work with clients to help them organize their digital life, one of the first things we do is look at how their computer is structured.

Often, it’s a big mess.

Obscure files everywhere, shortcuts that aren’t needed clutter the desktop, and dozens of apps needlessly take up disk space and make the computer run slow.

Before we dive into setting up to-do apps, inbox zero, or any other module of my Productivity Makeover Bootcamp program, this is what we go through first, to start with a clean slate.

This includes going through:

  • Installed apps and uninstalling anything that hasn’t been used in over 3 months.
  • All folders with files – especially downloads – deleting what isn’t needed and moving over the rest to a cloud drive with appropriate folders.
  • The desktop, removing as many shortcuts as possible to have it actually represent what you’d want the top of your physical desk to look like as well.

But also more obscure things like:

  • A social media cleanup, unfollowing any account whose content we don’t find helpful anymore.
  • Organizing the PC task bar and start menu, to see only what we really want to have quick access to.
  • A phone cleanup, applying the same principles from the PC cleanup to your mobile device.

Your digital house cleaning may include much more, or different things. I hope this has inspired you to think about the state of your digital home, and that you’ll start giving it the love it needs in order to serve you well.

Actionable advice for this week: perform a digital clean-up.

If this is the first time, set aside a couple of hours – you’ll need them. Find out which areas need the most work and may require the most attention regularly to be kept clean. I include a portion of digital clean-up work in my Weekly Review ritual.

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