Surely you have heard it before, the influence that a clean and organized workspace can have on your performance capabilities. In general, when we speak on this topic, people tend to naturally think about the desk in which we sit to perform our job duties, and often overlooked is the ever-so-important virtual desk. Just like with the desk you sit at to do your job every day, a clean and organized virtual desk will boost productivity and effectively help to keep our minds organized. A cluttered and unorganized virtual desk is no different than the physical desk we sit at to perform job tasks each day. Clutter of this type tends to dishevel the mind and discourage efficiency in both situations, ultimately decreasing one’s motivation to be industrious. Though there are the select few who thrive amid utter chaos, the vast majority can benefit more from a more organized structure. There are many tips readily available to help organize physical desk space, but what about virtual desk space? Isn’t it just as important? Why yes, yes it is, and for that reason, without further ado, here are some helpful tips to help you clean up your virtual desk and thus increase your on-the-job-performance. #1. Clean out unnecessary and old files It is only natural that over time we will accumulate all sorts of files onto our work computers. Some are worthy of keeping, others are hardly worthy of the hands of time. These old and unnecessary files not only take up space on your computer and could potentially slow things down, but they also junk up your computer. Think of it like a spring cleaning. Anything that you haven’t touched in over a year is probably okay to toss. A few exceptions which should be considered though: Financial statements; Tax documents; Court records; Files of sentimental or personal value; When checking the dates on your files, consider how long it has been since you last modified them. Then, determine if the file needs updating or recycling. #2. Store files in the cloud There is simply no need to have every file saved to the internal or external hard drive of your computer. Those files and documents which you always edit and manage online should be stashed into cloud space. And, in order to effectively do that various cloud based systems like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox come into focus to make your work a lot easier. There are also advanced implementations of cloud systems in businesses, for instance, if you have a lot of contact information of your clients and associates, a systematic managing in accordance to respective personnel can be done via cloud based phone systems in integration with Office 365 where data can be stored and retrieved at ease according to your reminders set to contact and followup your clients and associates. #3. Focus on de-cluttering and reorganizing your inbox I am sure that most would agree that your inbox is one area of your life that you accumulate the most clutter in the shortest amount of time. It is not just you, don’t worry. This is a direct result of this overzealous, super connected world that we live in today. Social media updates every 10 minutes (if you are lucky, realistically more like every 2 minutes), brands that you might have purchased once in your life are honing in for more business, colleagues looking to network, and your Alma-mater begging for donations – I mean, you name it, and it is probably in your inbox. Here are some tools that will help you get right to business without sugar coating it. Mailstrom – Makes sifting and sorting through emails more convenient and efficient. Additionally, with this tool, you can unsubscribe to promo emails with one simple click. Boomerang – Boomerang for Gmail allows you to sort through your emails, sending off the ones that you have no need for today. They will be sent back your way at a specified date and time. Me – Provides you with a complete list of the emails you are subscribed to, allowing you to unsubscribe with one simple tap. #4. Ditch unused programs Computers these days come stocked with loads of apps and programs already installed. Odds are, you use nowhere near all of them. Plus, most of us are guilty of installing a program onto our computer, using it one time, and never touching it again. Ridding your computer of these unnecessary and unused programs will not only free up PC space, but it will also help you to streamline a more organized and efficient system. This will ultimately increase the performance speed of your processor and also prevent crashes and freezes, which occur when duplicate programs compete to perform the same task. #5. Tidy up your desktop As a general rule of thumb, you can usually tell how organized a person’s virtual desk is by taking one quick glimpse at their Windows desktop. If it is littered with random files, pictures, shortcuts, etc., it is usually safe to assume that the desk itself is cluttered and unkempt. Taking time to design and implement a hierarchical system for organizing the files of your virtual desk will prove to be beneficial in the short and long run. Now, take a deep breath; you have done it. You have finally released yourself from the disheveled grip of your cluttered and chaotic virtual desk. You can now breathe freely knowing that both of your desks are structured, clean and junk-free. Now all that is left to do is enjoy a clear and focused mind, an organized workspace, and set your sights on success. Been there, done that? If you have additional tips to share with us about how to clean up your virtual desk, please feel free to share! We’d love to hear from you! 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