Looking to maximize your productivity and save time while working? Whether you have hundreds of audio recordings, RFPs, client documents, data sheets, drafts of publications, photos, or a smattering of each, keeping your computer organized can go a long way in enabling you be your best self at work.

National Clean Out Your Computer Day was inaugurated in Y2K and is recognized on the second Monday in February, every year. While you might not find a Hallmark card for it, the holiday is worth acknowledging for the following reasons…

As you know, the more files, programs and data on a given computer (or device), the greater the burden on the system from a processing perspective. If the burden becomes too immense, it eventually impacts your computer’s performance and slows down your everyday activities.

But it’s not just about operating efficiently and delivering projects quickly (although that alone is an excellent reason to celebrate the Day). The reality is that the more files and data that you store on your computer, the greater the probability of a cyber breach.

Improve your productivity, increase your level of cyber security, and contribute to the security of your organization as a whole. Take the time to follow the National Clean Out Your Computer Day tips below.

7 National Clean Out Your Computer Day Tips

1. In the way that your brain slows down as you try to think 20 thoughts at the same time, too many files on a computer will slow down your device. Take the time to declutter. Organize your information by creating folders and sorting your data into appropriate locations.

2. Ahead of your cleaning spree, make sure that you won’t accidentally discard anything that’s important by backing up your data. Back up all files to the cloud ahead of deleting content.

3. Once you’ve backed up your system, delete duplicate files and spam emails, as they’re just taking up unnecessary space.

4. Create a nomenclature for naming files. When you’re in a rush, perhaps you throw file names onto your documents, only to forget the names later or to store the file in the wrong place, forcing you to dig through folders to later find what you need. Rename files in accordance with your new naming system.

5. Browse through your digital bookmarks and organize them so that you can quickly get to what you need, when you need it. Delete bookmarks that you don’t use. If it’s looking a little wild, consider organizing your bookmarked sites into digital folders.

6. After completing your internal cleaning efforts, take care of your computer’s exterior. Sanitize and scrub areas with a dry washcloth and appropriate cleaning agents.

7. Tell friends, family and co-workers about the holiday via social media. Post with the hashtags #NationalCleanOutYourComputerDay and #CleanOutYourComputerDay

More information

National Clean Out Your Computer Day efforts should also extend to your smartphone, tablet and other devices. It’s no longer just about computers; although in Y2K, when the holiday was created, no one could have predicted as much.

These days, existing in our society without a computer or device is almost like living in a world without dogs or cats. Could we survive without them? Well, maybe. But quality of life, productivity, work and more are all much improved if we take care of what we have, from our pets, to our digital devices.

For more cyber security tips, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. Lastly, to receive cutting-edge cyber security news, best practices and resources in your inbox each week, please sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.