Mystery shoppers spend a lot of time on the computer. When it is cluttered and disorganized, every task can take longer than it should. In this guest post, time management expert Karen Leland offers tips on getting your computer in order.
Has your computer become the junk drawer of your electronic life? Do you have files stacked ten to a one-room apartment, e-mails were gathering mold in dark corners and bookmarks living in chaotic squalor? So much so that finding things on your desktop and hard drive had begun taking significant amounts of time?
If so, follow this simple three-step process to do a basic declutter of your computer and begin the process of simplifying your electronic life.
Step One: Set up a logical filing system.
• Try to mirror your paper filing system on your computer. The more your main folders resemble the names and categories you use to file paper, the easier it will be for you to both find and file various documents.
• Create a “working file” or “pending” folder, which lives on your desktop and can hold anything you are currently working on and need to access quickly and easily. While much of your computer may be used for the archiving of information, the “working file” folder can hold the most relevant information and projects.
Step Two: Organize your bookmarks.
Just as you may have random files floating around your hard drive, you more than likely have a ton of bookmarks that are not organized in any particular way.
Depending on which program you are using, find the “organize” feature. This will allow you to make folders with logical names that you can group and move your various bookmarks into.”
Step Three: Clean up your hard drive.
Because storage on most computers is not a big issue, a lot of people have a bad habit of using their computer as a storage unit, or even a dumping ground, for holding all kinds of information, whether it is still relevant or not. A few ways to clean up your hard drive include:
•Deleting any old working drafts of documents that are no longer needed or have been replaced by more updated versions.
•Deleting files that you created but never did anything with or have no documents in.
•Eliminating files that have different names but contain the same duplicate materials.
•Dumping files that are so old that the information in them is outdated and never used.
One caution: If you need to keep any files for a legal reason, either:
•Print them out on paper and keep a hard copy.
•Create a special folder on the computer for “legal.”
•Transfer them to a backup disk.
OK, now that you have a plan to follow, set aside 15 minutes each day this coming week (first thing in the morning works well) to work on decluttering your computer.
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Karen Leland and Keith Bailey are the bestselling authors of six books including Time Management In An Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day. They are the co-founders of Sterling Consulting Group, which helps organizations and individuals learn how to fight distraction and find their focus in a wired world. For more information please contact: email@example.com