Friday Task: Clean Your Computer
Yes, you clean off your desk before you leave the office and you’ve hired an eco-friendly cleaning company to keep your entire building clean and healthy (that’s our job!), but have you ever taken the time to clean your computer? Those stray files and images may be having a negative effect on your business and spending some time getting things clean and organized on the inside of your PC or Mac will go a long way towards making you—and your entire business—a bit more efficient.
The good news is that cleaning your computer—if done correctly—doesn’t have to become a daily chore. Spend one Friday afternoon doing the following steps and you will be organized and ready for months to come.
Your first step is to clean your desktop. Imagine someone that doesn’t even know you turns on your computer and sees your desktop. What would be his or her first impression? Get rid of desktop clutter by putting everything in its place and if it doesn’t have a place, either create one or put it in the trash. Once you are done, empty your Trash or Recycle Bin.
Next, get rid of any unnecessary files. Create a temporary folder—Archive. Go through all of your current folders and files (including what may be sitting on a server) and decide if this is something you will need in the next 12-months, something you may not need but should keep (think financial records) or something you no longer need. Any items you don’t need but want to keep put in the Archive folder and trash those you no longer need. Be very strict about this process—do not hang onto things you do not need.
All those items in your Archive folder? Save them to an external hard drive or secure online backup source. Matter of fact, you should backup all your files on a regular basis just in case something happens to your computer. Schedule yourself to do a backup of your files once a month; however you should backup pictures and videos as soon as you upload them and, if you have regularly-updated documents, consider doing a backup every couple of weeks.
Now that you’ve gone through and either deleted or archived all your documents and folders, create an online filing system that is simple and works for you. For me, I have folders for each client, folders for my internal business tasks and a personal folder. I also have one that sits right on my desktop called TO DO—at the beginning of each day, I move any documents I need to do that day to that folder.
This system also works well for organizing your email. Go through your emails and delete old (and not needed) emails—including those sitting in your “Sent” and “Drafts” folders. Once that is done, organize your folders in a way that will make going through your emails more efficient. For example, I have folders marked “Today”, “This Week”, “This Month”, “At Some Point” and “Waiting.” At the beginning of each day, I move the emails to their respective folders. If I have an email that needs immediate attention, I answer it right then.
Talk to us: What is the biggest thing causing clutter on your computer?