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Digital decluttering has become as essential as brushing your teeth twice a day. Especially now, when the knowledge industry has mass moved to online and remote work.
Our mental wellbeing and productivity can suffer great consequences unless we learn to keep our online spaces tidy and organized. Fragmented attention span, exhaustion, overwhelm and irritability are just some of the symptoms of a messy digital space.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the risks digital clutter brings with it, and how to start cleaning out your digital workspace.
In short, to declutter your digital space means to clear out your computer, phone, or tablet (or all three) of all the apps and files you’re no longer using.
It means learning to accept that a lot of your programs, apps, and extensions are optional, while only a handful have an actual purpose, both in your work and personal life.
But I can already hear you wonder: “Do I even need a digital declutter?” Maybe you’re managing just fine because you know exactly where everything is.
But, what about all those files you’ve forgotten about, that are collecting dust in your disk space? Just because you don’t use them doesn’t mean they’re harmless.
Digital clutter can actually have adverse psychological effects on knowledge workers. In this day and age, we’re encouraged to gather vast amounts of information and store them for future use, potential career opportunities, learning materials, etc.
Additionally, there is another type of digital clutter masking as a beneficial thing every knowledge worker should possess.
While we know that overexposure to social media and digital content overall can be damaging to our personal lives, we often overlook its impact on careers. Knowledge workers rely on digital spaces for growth, staying updated, and connecting.
We’ve perpetuated the idea that being online is the only way to never miss a career opportunity. That includes countless social media accounts — LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, Quora, Facebook, Instagram — be present everywhere!
Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism and Deep Work, who’s become a household name by now, proved that this is simply not true....
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