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We’re living in a time where many working professionals feel overwhelmed by negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger, loneliness, and – of course – stress, which affects a whopping 79% of all UK working professionals. However, many don’t realise how much our workplace habits contribute to the negative emotions we feel in the workplace.
One of the most significant contributions is our work environment, especially if it’s as all over the place as we feel! Unbeknownst to many, our brains are hardwired to like order, so when we’re surrounded by messiness and clutter, it can amplify any negative feelings we’re already feeling, which is why minimalism and the Marie Kondo method have so many devotees.
However, as much as we wouldn’t like to admit it, this clutter problem doesn’t just affect our desks/offices but also our electronics like our work phones and PCs – the latter especially. Being a very convenient place to store program shortcuts, files, pdfs, etc., our desktops can quickly become disorganised. To avoid this (and a lack of productivity!), it’s essential that you declutter your PC, too, using the organisational tips we’ve outlined below.
4 Organisational Tips for A Messy Desktop
Choose A Nice Wallpaper
What does my desktop wallpaper have to do with my organisational skills, you ask? Aside from making your PC aesthetically pleasing, choosing a nice wallpaper can boost your productivity levels, increase morale, and encourage you to keep your files, documents, PDFs, etc., organised so the wallpaper is visible.
Let’s face it, as much as we appreciate Microsoft, that blue start-up screen we see when we first power up our work PCs does nothing to inspire us for the workday ahead! So, switch it up to something pretty or motivational, encouraging you to work harder and remain focused throughout the day.
Whether you opt for a picture from your last family holiday or a photo of your pet pulling a funny face, so long as it will inspire you whenever you look at it, you’ll be naturally predisposed to keeping it clutter free! If you need more help keeping your files organised, consider changing your wallpaper to a gridded or lined background, encouraging you to manage files linearly according to the image.
Delete/Hide Things You Don’t Use Weekly
Since our desktops are open spaces, it is very tempting (and convenient!) to use it as a dump for all our downloaded files, programs, PDFs, images etc., then never bother sorting them into a document management system. However, this can quickly spiral out of control, and you’ll soon find that you’re running out of available ‘dumping’ space.
To avoid this scenario, you must purge your desktop regularly and be ruthless about it! If you haven’t used a file, PDF, image, etc., more than a handful of times, you can’t remember the last time you used it, or you can’t imagine using it in the foreseeable future – then delete it!
If you’re in two minds about whether something will become helpful further down the line, consider creating a separate folder to store the files, PDFs, images etc., and keep it somewhere out of sight on your PC.
If you’d like to go one step further, consider using a PDF compressor tool to reduce the quality of these documents (especially if they contain images!) before tucking them away. By doing a PDF compress using tools from Smallpdf, you can reduce the size of your rarely used documents, free up available disk space on your work PC, and take advantage of many other benefits.
With over twenty PDF tools, including a PDF compressor, their products can help you compress, covert, and e-sign your way to a much less cluttered PC desktop. Consider visiting their website or contacting a team member directly for specific inquiries.
Name Files Accordingly
As tempting as it might be to save files under ridiculous names or the jumbled names of characters they’re given after being downloaded, this can make it much more challenging to organise them, let alone find them when needed. To avoid this muddle, it’s essential that you devise and implement a file-naming convention that you can use systematically.
For instance, you could name your files, images, PDFs etc., using your client’s name, the date you downloaded the file, and a snippet of the file’s contents, like ‘Addams – March Payslip – 23/01’. Once you’ve developed a file-naming system, you could expand it by grouping them into folders and keeping the ones you’re regularly opening on your desktop while retiring others to a memory stick or somewhere else on your PC’s hard drive.
With a robust file-naming system, your files are listed in chronological order, making it easier to filter through and find the specific file you want via date, name etc. So, if you haven’t already, start working your way through your existing files and renaming any that don’t adhere to your file-naming system, and start reaping the benefits of a more organised desktop.
If you forget work-related (or even personal!) tasks, consider giving yourself a routine, gentle nudge by adding it to your calendar, encouraging you to stay on top of the job. So long as your to-do list isn’t overflowing with other work tasks, set aside one day a month and dedicate a couple of hours to de-cluttering your desktop, deleting unused files, sorting stray documents into folders etc.
Whether you pencil it into a traditional calendar or transfer your work calendar onto your smartphone so you’ll receive alerts, it will serve as a gentle reminder that will help encourage you to keep your desktop clear and prevent it from reverting to its messy state.
Even though it might be annoying to see the same task pop up on your calendar each month, even if you feel that your desktop is relatively tidy, it is worth setting some time aside to organise it as you’ll feel better about doing so. Your productivity levels will mirror this satisfaction. Although it might be a ‘routine’ task, we promise it will reap more significant rewards and improve teamwork in the end!