Every time I’ve set up a tent for camping, I have had to clear away a flat space so that I am not sleeping on rocks or puddles. It is similar to digital environments. When it comes to human environments, we can break them down into three areas of experience: Physical environments, virtual environments, and social environments.
The Digital Wellness Collective suggests the “CLEAR” method to optimize your home office. The clear process presents five action steps you can take to prepare your physical environment for digital work. Clear stands for clear, lift, eliminate, activate, and refresh. To practice clear, start by clearing your desk and inbox of clutter. Next, lift your computer to avoid tension, Eliminate distractions. Activate a designated workspace in your home. and Refresh your space with nature.
While designers may have the best intentions, it is impossible to decide default settings that will work for everyone. When decluttering your virtual environments, consider your attention, as well as your storage space. For example, you can regularly reassess which notifications you’d like to receive or silence. You can also archive old emails to help you see and focus on the most critical communications and current to you.