my desk monday | clearing out my inbox + desktop

my desk monday - email and organization ==> tracylarsendesigns.com

This is the view of the desktop on my iMac. I’ve been spending a lot of time getting organized and ready for the big move over to my new website. But putting together something that is going to be valuable to you when you spend time reading my blog and making my new website exactly what I want it to be is taking time. I am happy to do this work and have my blog evolve in this way.

Part of this change is getting things very organized – in my head, in my office space and on my computer. I spent time this weekend completely clearing out my inbox. Every single email message has been sorted, filed or deleted. This is a big deal for me.

A few things that helped me with this process:

  • My gmail account has been acting crazy and a few weeks ago it removed all of my 2,000+ email messages (gulp, yes I really did just admit that!) from my inbox in the Mac Mail program on my computer. All of these messages are still mixed in the archive folder, but I need to drag and drop each one to deal with them. I just took this as a sign to start fresh from where I was. So, if you have contacted me and not heard back, please email me again and I will be in touch!
  • I created action folders for all of the emails I receive. These include business files, receipt files, personal files, to do files and to read files – among many more files. Just creating these files is not going to be enough. I need to use these files every day.
  • I am conquering my fear of the delete key. I am a saver. I am afraid to delete anything for fear that I might need it and not have it. All this has done is create an overflowing inbox and a cluttered head for me. So I was a wild woman with the delete key this weekend – and it felt great!
  • My plan is to spend 10 minutes each day dealing with email. If you really think about it, 10 minutes is not very long. It is a mater of being focused and taking action for each message – not just talking about it. Intentions are good, but they are not the same as actually doing it. I’m going to set a timer and challenge myself to keep my inbox clear. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I also organized the files on my desktop. It had become the dumping ground for all the files that I had no idea where to put. Now, I thrive on being organized (you should see my calendar and photo files!) so this chaos on my desktop was driving me crazy. The cause of all clutter is indecision. Read that again… The cause of all clutter is indecision. Not knowing where something should go or things not having a “home” is how clutter happens!  Weather it is a file on my computer or a note the boys bring home from school, if I am not clear on where it goes and put it in its place right away, then it will become clutter for sure.

Here is what I did to clear off my desktop:

  • I started by mapping out what files I needed to access and what folder these files belonged in. I divided things into personal and business folders. Then I just dragged and dropped everything into these files and the sub-files I also created.
  • I want to keep only files I need to access currently on my desktop, so I moved all of my old files off of my desktop.
  • I made files for anything I’ll be needing in the future so I can create a “home” for everything as I am saving it instead of having it all pile up on my desktop again.
  • I love using color coding for organization. I use a mac app called Folder Forge to color my folders on my computer. This makes me happy.

Yes, that really is my computer desktop on the top of this post. Waking up this morning to a clear computer screen and a mostly empty inbox (reality check = it will never be completely empty, but it is definitely more manageable now) was such a relief. It makes all of the things on my to-do list not seem quite so overwhelming. So the trick for me is to follow-up my good start with consistent habits of spending a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day doing a “digital pick-up” to organize anything that is not where it belongs. Just like my house benefits from a sweep at night to pick-up things that are out of place (and that means a lot of things with my kids!), so will my computer – and therefore my head.

Love my wallpaper photo? My sweet friend Bree made it and three more that you can download for free on her website.

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