A Clutter-Free Desktop: A Clutter-Free Life

I am a naturally messy person. Maybe I’ll leave my socks on the floor, or wait for a while before doing the dishes. Normally, this doesn’t affect me too much, but sometimes the clutter gets to me. When it’s gone, I feel so much better and have a more optimistic outlook. The same is true for the desktop on my computer. Sometimes I will just let it go. I’ll let the icons pile up, and the documents go unfiled. When I finally get around to breaking bad habits and tidying up the desktop, I feel much better about the way it looks and it’s less of a distraction when I have to get work done. Having a clean workspace and breaking bad habits are key to being more productive.

The first step in cleaning up your desktop is to eliminate the icons. Not just the ones you rarely use, or the ones that came with the computer and are still sitting there untouched – all of them. I was hesitant to do this at first, but when I finally did it was liberating. It did take some getting used to, I will admit. But once I got comfortable finding my way around the computer and opening programs with only the mouse, or only keyboard shortcuts for the real pros, it became a snap. I also noticed that when I deleted all the icons off of my desktop, the computer actually ran a little bit faster. Apparently, just breaking bad habits and removing desktop icons frees up memory for your computer to speed up processes elsewhere.

In my quest to become more productive, I also stopped using my the desktop and toolbar widgets. These widgets told me the weather and there was a clock and a calendar, all stuff I didn’t need to have at a glance all of the time. These widgets only served to distract me from being more productive and didn’t add much benefit other than looking cool. Having to open the calendar or clock with a couple of mouse clicks takes almost as few seconds as having them up permanently. But the effect of breaking bad habits of keeping clutter around and having them up all the time saved me many minutes, if not hours, in lost productivity time.

One of the most difficult things I did to increase my productivity, was to eliminate my desktop background. I thought that without the icons, I could have an elaborate background to personalize my desktop and make up for the lack of anything else on it. I was wrong. Elaborate backgrounds only serve to be more distracting and should be avoided. A simple background, or just a block of color will go a long way to increasing productivity and reducing clutter.

Breaking bad habits can be a challenging thing to accomplish and it does take effort. Being productive can also be tough to get started on, but once I started I just couldn’t stop. I looked for other ways to be more productive and I turned to my email and phone number contact lists. I had several of them in different address books and wanted to consolidate them. There is software to do this, so I thought, why not move onto that next and keep the productivity train rolling.