Sunday, February 7

Happy [Belated] Clean Out Your Computer Day

I'm rather a fond of unofficial and off-beat holidays, and the ISTJ in me doubly appreciates when unofficial holidays serve highly functional purposes. Last Tuesday was a perfect example: National Clean Out Your Computer Day.

In this age of digital everything, it's all too easy for our computers, phones, and other devices to become cluttered with old and duplicate photos, ambiguously named files, defunct links and bookmarks, and other outdated remnants. Data storage being what it is, these things are easy to ignore on a day-to-day basis, but the sad truth is that they tend to cost us time and energy when we can least afford it. As anyone who's ever ransacked their hard drive for a critical file needed on short notice knows, clutter gets frustrating fast when you're in a hurry.

Interestingly, I was reminded several times in December by unrelated sources that the difference between businesses/households that thrive, succeed and function smoothly and those that don't can often be summed up in one word: systems.

Even exceptionally simple systems, when well designed and followed consistently, can radically reshape our lives for the better. It can take a couple tries to establish and refine systems that work for our unique needs, and the creation or reformation of habits is usually involved, but the relative payoff is huge.

I didn't get my computer (or my Pinterest account) completely cleaned out last week, and I admit I'm still actively working on establishing and revising systems for a variety of aspects of my life. I also have yet to address at all the whole necessity of properly backing up important files. But I did appreciate the reminder that this is an area worth focusing on, and the challenge to pick up my pace in this respect. After all, what better time to roll up one's sleeves and do a little digital purging an organizing than when it's cold and inhospitable outside?

What about you? Could your digital life and personal/professional systems use some refining this year?

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