Early studies into digital clutter indicate having too many files could be a problem and lead to increased stress and feeling overwhelmed. According to the National Association of Professional Organizations NAPO the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, which adds stress and frustration in the workplace, while reducing concentration and creative thinking.

When we the last time you wasted time looking for a file or email?

In a world of constant connections, how do we cope when we are pinged, tweeted, zoomed, facetimed, trying to function on a diet of constant learning to keep up with new things, sifting through information, swapping quickly between tasks to another? Generally, not well.

Creating boundaries around digital clutter helps save time, reduces visual clutter, help reduce anxiety and feeling out of control. With the average executive losing one hour of productivity per day searching for missing information, decluttering is a cost-effective way to boost productivity and creative thinking.

How to Reduce Digital Carbon Footprint

We now have the option to store our digital information in the cloud for eternity. In recent years Google, Facebook and other data storage companies have taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of data storage, by building data storage facilities in the arctic circle, as a way to reduce energy consumption. Power in cold climate

Great to see Google and Facebook taking an eco-friendly approach, although I question the amount of digital clutter we produce and store. How many selfies do we really need? It’s good to see Australian data companies thinking to the future and going carbon neutral.

Clutter in any form hinders our ability to function, reducing productivity, costing us time, space and money, so why hold on to it.


  • Set limits on what is stored on your desk top and in the cloud.
  • Set limits on how long you hold onto emails which you intend to read when you have a spare moment, chances are if you have not read it in 2 weeks you are not going to read it. Check your software to automate a procedure to delete emails not actions after 2 weeks.
  • Review current email organisation system, rather than introduce new organising systems, it is important to look at what is currently working, no point in reinventing the wheel, small changes may make all the difference. You will instantly recognise what is working, it’s what you use the most.
  • Declutter little and often- Daily, weekly or monthly routines help keep clutter at bay.
  • Routines – Finish each day by clearing your inbox, update digital files and file.

Remove all visual clutter from your desktop and turn off any reminders that are no longer relevant to the task ahead.

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For more tips to reduce clutter and waste check out STUFF OFF! ebook

The 10R’s © Rethink Responsible Refuse Repurpose Reorganise Repair Reduce Reuse Recycle Reward