Are you feeling out of sync these days? Does booting up your computer and running simple tasks feel like an eternity? Is your inbox overflowing and overwhelming? If so, a digital detox is in order. The steps below will blend into the perfect elixir to restore your system and sanity for optimal performance. So tune into your inner geek, breathe and reboot.
- De-clutter your Desktop: Not only does a cluttered desktop look uninviting, but it actually slows down your system. Delete unused shortcuts and file away the rest. If you’re prone to desktop clutter, there are apps to help keep it under control. For Windows Users, meet Fences: A free download for XP, 7 & Vista that allows you to segment your desktop files and keep your desktop clutter free. For Mac Users: Try Clean, a free app that moves your desktop files to a folder you specify and organizes them by month resulting in a clean desktop with organized files.
- Organize your documents, photos & music: Now that your Desktop is clean, spend some time reviewing additional folders that could use some TLC. Delete anything you don’t need or use and organize the rest.
- Uninstall Programs: If you haven’t used the program in over a year its highly unlikely you will use it again. Do yourself a favor and get rid of unused programs that are slowing down your system.
- Clear Your Cache: Every time you visit a website information is stored in your cache. Overtime this can create quite the lag when browsing the web. For information on how to clear your browser’s cache click here.
- Attack the Inbox: First of all, unsubscribe to any email lists that you never read. If there are ads or newsletters you want to read at your leisure but don’t need them cluttering your inbox, try organizing by labels in Gmail. Flagged emails will bypass your inbox where they are stored in categories you create. Secondly, review everything in your inbox and respond to pending messages and file them away when finished. Lastly, set up folders for any additional categories that can help minimize future clutter.
- Organize Your Bookmarks: Again, delete what you don’t need and organize the rest!
- Kick it to the Curb: Purge the clutter from your trash folder and get on with your life.
- Back It Up: The most important thing you can do to stay organized and prepared is to back up your system. If you haven’t purchased an external hard drive yet, check out some great options here. External hard drives are a great solution for programs and files you want to hold on to but don’t necessarily need on your hard drive. And in the event that your system crashes you’ll be happy to have backed up your files to save yourself the headache of starting over from scratch.
Clean Out Your Computer Day falls on the second Monday in February each year. But don’t wait until next year to detox again. Frequent cleansing will prevent future build up and stress. Tell us in the comment section below when was the last time you cleaned out your computer and you could win a Toshiba Portable Hard Drive!