Increasing productivity in your business doesn’t just entail optimising your equipment and sharpening your attention. Decluttering your computer desktop is also essential.
Disorganised folders and a lacklustre desktop display can dramatically reduce your cognitive abilities, impairing your decision-making and relationships with your team members. In addition, it can harm your anxiety, focus, sleep, and eating choices. All of these can reduce your workplace performance.
Here are our 7 tips for more productivity using your Microsoft Office desktop.
Tip 1. Relook at your file naming system
We mentioned this in our recent blog post, “7 tips for keeping your shared cloud storage organised” and it’s worth mentioning here too.
Having an intuitive filing system that helps you find what you need when you need it is important for your productivity.
To achieve this you need to consider a universal naming structure that gives you a quick visual indication of what folders and files contain. Make sure you check with your employer what the in-house protocol here is, this means that files and folders you share, or need to share when you leave, are handed over in a way that fits with how the organisation of your company works.
Don’t forget you can also colour and tag files and folders, making the ones you use regularly even easier to find. Remember tags only work if you use a truly intuitive naming system!
Tip 2. Categorise your content
Dumping new files and programs onto your desktop may be tempting if you’re in a hurry. However, this method is ill-advised because it inhibits your organisation. Try to allocate a few minutes to organise all new apps and files appropriately, according to your naming system.
When it comes to programs make sure you check what the in-house protocol is. It might be that your IT professional needs to do that for you.
Tip 3. Delete or reallocate unused files, folders and programs
We always recommend that you check with management before you do this, as the in-house protocol will vary from business to business. However, decluttering your computer by deleting, reallocating or even archiving unused files and folders can do wonders for your productivity.
We recommend spending 5-10 minutes each month to go through your files and folders, and once a quarter to look at programs.
Tip 4. Consolidate your most used apps
Having quick access to your most used programs is a must. It allows you to start working immediately without wasting time searching for the app you need.
To consolidate efficiently, you need to create a list of apps you can consolidate. Once you’ve assembled your list, you may be able to merge multiple programs with a comprehensive solution. It puts them in one place to streamline your productivity.
Using your Start Menu if you are on a Windows desktop computer is a great way to do this (read tip number seven).
The TaskBar is an effective alternative, as program icons are often responsible for the bulk of your clutter. Keeping the essential icons in the taskbar makes them quickly accessible since you won’t need to browse.
Tip 5. Make your desktop wallpaper more visually appealing
Besides making your computer desktop fully functional, you should also enhance its appeal. So, select a meaningful or beautiful background. It needs to be enjoyable to look at, motivating you to keep your computer tidy.
You'd be surprised at just how much this works!
Tip 6. Remove folders and files from your desktop
The other thing you can do is remove files and folders from your desktop, moving them to your new categorised folder system. If you are on a PC you can pin File Explorer to your TaskBar, which will give you quick access to your most recently used folders. The bonus of doing this is that these files and folders are also backed up during your office backup times. Desktops aren’t usually included here.
Not only will you be more organised, but you will feel less overwhelmed looking at your desktop display.
Alternatively using Windows Start Menu effectively will do the same job.
Tip 7. Familiarise yourself with Windows Start Menu
This is your centralised launch point for programs and documents (folders and files). Microsoft has specifically created this for you to personalise the way you work, with productivity in mind. Getting used to pressing the Windows button as you start work each day quickens the process of you getting started.
Need some help optimising your Microsoft Office Desktop for better productivity?
We are IT Soho, a team of expert IT professionals serving the London area. Our IT Manager support package includes hardware and software management, as well as online, phone and onsite support. Your productivity is one of the key areas we look at during our computer tune-ups.
If your productivity feels like it's been zapped, call us today and we will get you sorted out in no time!