How to practice digital minimalism with one step

Being a digital minimalist is something almost anyone can benefit from, and if you are reading this on a computer, chances are you do too.

In the modern world we live in, computers are used perhaps every hour we are awake. And if we use computers for working professionally, many of us are constantly bombarded with distractions that keep us from doing what we need to.

Digital minimalism is the term used to counter-act this problem, sometimes we just can’t help ourselves not to be lazy.

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I like my workspace clean. Sure, it usually isn’t, but I like it that way. I clean it whenever possible just for that slight burst of motivation. Wiping away dust, putting the broken erasers inside my drawers, and throwing away that plastic bottle which has been there since who knows how long.

I do the same with my desktop too. This is what my desktop currently looks like.

Unlike my actual desk, this is what it almost always looks like, and it has been this way since the day I got my computer. Having a clean desktop, to me, means that I have my priorities straight.

The desktop is not just a place to put files I don’t want to deal with at the moment, in stark contrast, I use it to store all of my current projects. An essay for school, or a video I’m currently working on, or maybe even shortcuts to other folders deep inside my computer that I’ll be referring to a lot for a certain while.

The moment the task finishes, go ahead and move the required files where they need to be. I usually put them in my cloud storage, or in a designated folder locally in my machine, the temporary files are deleted.

Keeping apps on the desktop, is a waste of space and I don’t see the reason people do that, there already is a taskbar with plenty of space to put them, and for the ones I don’t use regularly, I pin them to the Start Menu.

In the past, I used to have a folder called “Dump” on my Desktop to store the currently used files, but it felt like an extra unnecessary step, so I went back to this method.

But hold on, not every file can be placed in a proper folder of its own… right? What about those files that you are unsure of, whether to delete or not to, or files that you won’t be needing every single day, but you also have no need to go have to create a proper folder for.

Files like weekly timetables, or a bunch of screenshots that you will be referring to from time to time. For these I have an ‘Archived’ folder, which does exactly what it sounds like - an unorganized place to keep random stuff, because we are human after all.

And finally, the best thing about having a clean desktop, is the aesthetic of it. I like my desktop empty. Instead of icons of every color, I much rather look at my wallpaper thank you very much.

So, to repeat myself, keep your desktop clean and delete unnecessary files. Sometimes, I find it surprising that a lot of people don’t even know what that gigantic shortcut in the smack middle of their desktop leads to.

A Student, Tech Enthusiast, Graphic Designer, Marvel Fanatic