Time for a Digital Spring Clean: Decluttering Digital Devices Increases Productivity and Reduces Stress Levels
Research from CCleaner finds link between clean devices and wellbeing as 55% of Brits admit poorly performing tech stresses them out
London, United Kingdom, 30 March, 2020 – There is a direct link between people’s wellbeing and their levels of digital clutter. A recent study by CCleaner, a leader in system optimization software, found that over 60% of Brits feel less stressed after decluttering their devices, 71% feel more organized and 69% feel more productive. Despite this, only 34% are regularly taking steps to declutter their devices.
A poll of over 2,0001 UK consumers highlighted an increase in digital clutter in the past 12 months, with over half (55%) of the research respondents attributing this to increased time spent online during lockdown – be that working from home, socializing or homeschooling.
Looking at online habits in closer detail, the average Brit has five internet tabs open at any one time, with 10% admitting to having between 9-11 tabs open at any one time. An additional 24% admit that they haven’t emptied their internet cache a single time in the past year, 15% haven’t cleared their browsing history, and 16% haven’t removed old apps or files that they no longer use.
Commenting on the findings, Sue Spencer, a Certified KonMari Consultant & Decluttering expert at A Life More Organised said, “Clutter is anything that gets in the way of you getting on with your everyday tasks in life – it can be physical clutter around your home, mental clutter in your head or digital clutter on your laptop and phone. It causes distractions and procrastination as you deal with untidy spaces or unfinished business.”
Having too much ‘junk’ on a device not only opens people up to security issues, but can negatively impact the performance of devices. Over half (55%) of Brits have admitted that bad performing technology causes them stress and anxiety. Despite this, ‘I keep putting it off’ was the number one reason for consumers not regularly taking these steps to clean their devices.
David Peterson, General Manager at CCleaner, said, “It’s good to see people recognize the positive impacts that ‘cleaning’ devices can have. Similar to giving our homes a clean, sweeping up and organizing files or data on our devices can help make everyday life that little bit simpler – especially with the additional amount of digital clutter accumulated during lockdown. However, while people are aware of the benefits, it appears that people are putting it off. Our digital devices are a huge part of our everyday lives, but keeping them in order shouldn’t have to be time consuming or complicated.”
Although only a third of us declutter our devices, despite recognising its positive mental impact, this does not apply to our homes. The research found that almost half of users (49%) are organizing the clutter in their own homes more than ever before. The top three feelings associated with doing this were productivity, accomplishment, and happiness. A quarter of Brits went as far as to say they felt calmer after regularly sorting and cleaning their homes during lockdown. However, with the average person organizing their physical documents more frequently than their digital ones, now could be the time for a digital spring clean.
Commenting further, Sue Spencer, said, “The emergence of home organizing shows like The Home Edit and Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has led to a growing trend for people wanting their homes to be organized with less clutter. CCleaner’s research shows this has been the case over the past year and that digital clutter is very ‘real’. People appear to be feeling this more than ever, perhaps as we’ve had so much screen time over the past year, however, this hasn’t translated into them taking time to declutter their digital lives.”
Sue recommends, To make the move from clutter to organization you need to declutter your space first – there is no point in organizing your clutter, “Let go of the things you don’t need first and then organize. The easiest way to do this is to establish a few routines that you can remember to do on a weekly or monthly basis – linking them to another task like writing a monthly report or making them part of your ‘switching off for the day’ routine will help to ensure they aren’t forgotten.”
Some Top Tips for decluttering your digital space:
- Delete any old email, social media, internet accounts that aren’t used anymore.
- Stop multitasking on your device – having lots of tabs or documents open at the same time doesn’t lead to you being more efficient. It encourages you to jump between tasks so nothing gets 100% of your attention or effort.
- Set up folders to store any emails that you need to keep (either for work or home purposes) and delete any emails that you’ve read in your inbox and no longer need.
- Spend a couple of minutes a week unsubscribing to emails you don’t want rather than just deleting them.
- Declutter your desktop, rather than using it as a place to store downloaded files. Create a few well named folders that you can store your documents in and review them regularly to ensure you can still easily find the documents you need (purge any draft versions or documents that are no longer needed).
- Once a month, delete apps on your phone that you don’t use.
- Regularly review your photos and remove any duplicates, blurred photos or images that you can’t identify who/what the photo is of (we all have them!). Then set up folders (e.g.: by occasion, month) so you can easily enjoy the photos you’ve chosen to keep
- Use a tool like CCleaner to clean, refresh and optimize the junk files clogging up your laptop, PC and smartphone
CCleaner was founded in 2004 and is a global leader in system optimization software with hundreds of millions of home and business users worldwide. Its portfolio of software tools optimizes computing performance, improves security and extends the useful life of hardware.
A CCleaner product is installed more than 23 million times a month and active CCleaner users exist in every single country worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.ccleaner.com
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1 Based on a poll of over 2,000 consumers carried out by Censuswide