Declutter to be more productive

Declutter to be more productive


I am currently reading Marie Kondo's bestselling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It starts a bit slow at first, but one interesting concept that is repeated often is the importance of cleaning and tidying up before you can really focus on the main problem you should be working on.


I also came across more or less the same idea in the book Getting Things Done by Paul Allen. To get things done, you need to be structured and organised so that you don't waste time on clutter and waste.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby / Unsplash

Similarly, the first thing you usually do - before tackling revision for an exam paper or starting a big assignment - is cleaning and ordering your table and maybe your room. That's natural. Otherwise, you don't feel motivated working on a littered desk full of irrelevant papers and files.

Minimalist Desktop

My colleague often reminds me to shut down my laptop after work - even though I rarely do it nowadays as I am using WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and Docker Desktop, which take time to launch.

There is wisdom, however, with shutting down your laptop at the end of the work day and having a clean boot the next day - given that your work on the PC is organised. Starting work with a desktop full of applications and tabs open, does not inspire enough motivation for focus. You have other things distracting you instead of starting the most important task of the day.

Now imagine the contrary; opening an empty desktop with a magnificent wallpaper and starting work with such minimalism.

Not restarting or shutting down your computer might be productive though, as you don't need to open the same applications and web pages again, which can take a lot of time, depending on your work nature. Similarly, you can write scripts using bash or python to automate loading your applications, files and web pages in one click or on startup so that you can shutdown and start your machine the next day.


Using Windows 10, I prefer keeping my laptop on sleep when completing work for the day. This Operating System, however, does not play well if the system is not restarted or shut down often. Last week itself, Windows during sleep, updated and restarted itself. Fortunately I did not have useful work pending, which would have been lost.