Spring is in the air and perhaps you’ve been hit by the cleaning bug. Maybe you’re looking around your desk at this very moment, noticing the fine layer of dust that has gathered on your monitor, or perhaps the stack of papers that haven’t been sorted all winter. Maybe your desktop is a mess of files and shortcuts that haven’t been used for months.
With all the demands of business, you may have put off cleaning your work space. That’s understandable, but having a clean space can boost both your mood and productivity. Making the time to clean and organize your space can make a positive difference in your workday.
So where to begin? I would suggest you start with the physical space before digital. Simply clean and organize everything, excluding your technology. Once papers have been filed, pens and pencils put away, and your desk is shimmering, it’s time to move on to your technology.
Cleaning a Computer
Let’s start with one of the most important pieces of technology in your office, the computer. Before starting, it’s important to shut off the power to your computer and unplug any peripherals you will be cleaning.
The keyboard is often a harbinger of dirt and germs. To begin, take the keyboard and gently shake it upside down. This will help to remove some of the dirt and dust trapped below the keys. After a few tilts and shakes, put the keyboard back down. Next, take a cotton swab and dip the end into a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. Keeping the ratio about 60/40 should yield good results. Make sure the swab isn’t dripping, then proceed to clean around and on the keys. You can use a can of compressed air for between the keys first, but make sure to follow the directions.
When cleaning the monitor, again, make sure that power isn’t going to the device. Avoid the use of a rag, paper towel, or any liquids when cleaning the monitor. It is strongly recommended that you use a microfiber wipe. In fact, it’s the only thing that you should use when cleaning any monitor. Gently wipe the screen until clean.
Cleaning a Smartphone or Tablet
Often your smartphone or tablet is just as important as your computer. Keeping it clean and functional is essential. First thing you’ll want to do is shut it off. Remove any cover you may have on it. This is where you’ll find most of the dirt. Simply use a microfiber wipe to clean the dust and dirt off the device and case. You can use a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol to clean and disinfect the case, but refrain from using any solution on the screen.
When cleaning any digital advice, use a microfiber wipe on any glass, plastic, or smooth surfaces that you do not want scratched. To disinfect, use the isopropyl alcohol solution and a cotton swap. After your devices are properly cleaned, it’s time to clean up your digital space.
Organizing the Desktop
For most of us the desktop can become a chaotic scene of icons. Either these are often used files, outdated shortcuts, wayward folders. A simple method to clean up your desk top is to check each icon one by one. If it’s a file, find the proper folder or sub folder to place it in. If such a folder doesn’t exist, consider creating it. If it’s a shortcut, ask yourself if it’s to a program that you use often or if it is just an artifact from a long forgotten program.
During this time, make note of programs and files that you are absolutely sure will not be utilized and remove the files or programs through the add/remove programs feature on Windows. After your desktop is looking less compacted, left-click and choose Sort By. And there it is, a clean, well-functioning desktop.
Organizing a Smart Phone
Instead of flipping through pages of apps to find a specific program, taking the time to organize your smart phone will save time and patience. Much like when organizing your desktop, it’s important to go through each program and evaluate it. Clear out what you don’t and won’t use. Utilize folders to organize app by function. While you’re clearing out space on your smart phone, it may be a good idea to look into an organization app that fits your needs.
Now that your work spaces, both physical and digital are less cluttered, don’t be surprised if your productivity as well as your mood sees an uptick. Happy cleaning.