Digital Decluttering | Mike And Matty | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Digital Decluttering

    • 3. Class Project

    • 4. Decluttering your computer

    • 5. Decluttering your email

    • 6. Decluttering your calendar

    • 7. Decluttering your to-do list

    • 8. Decluttering your phone

    • 9. Decluttering your desk

    • 10. Wrap-up

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About This Class

In this class, we are going to declutter our digital workspaces. On the surface, we will be organizing our work in a way that increases overall productivity. But as we go through the course, we will reconnect with the deeper meaning of what inspires our work in the first place. 

We will be decluttering and reorganizing the files and documents within our computers, mobile devices, email, calendar, todo list, and more! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Mike And Matty

Doctors, Youtubers, Brothers


Hi, we're Mike and Matty

We're medical doctors in the United States🥼🩺
We're also music producers, filmmakers, & entrepreneurs with a passion for creativity and learning.

We were raised to value hard work, but not necessarily at the expense of our interests or passions. Rather, we view hard work as a vehicle to help find more time to pursue our interests. Frankly, there's no chance we could have gotten where we are without help. We've been nothing but fortunate our entire journey. Now it's our turn to help you get there too.

We've learned so much along the way, from school, business, music production, to medicine, and we're looking forward to... See full profile

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1. Introduction: In this course, we're going to de-clutter. And de-cluttering can have compounding effects on many parts of your life. For me, it saves time in multiple ways. I spend less time looking for things. I'll spend more time in focus mode when it really matters. So think about it. If you appear organized, your friends and coworkers, people will just see you in a better light. If your boss views you as an organized and capable person, it gives you more self-esteem and motivation in the confidence to perform better in your job. And all of this becomes a positive feedback loop. But most importantly, I found that de-cluttering helps me realize myself with my work, my life, and my overall happiness for me and organized workspace motivates me to get more work done and inspires me to enjoy the process. So in this video, I'm going to be going over a method that I used to help me declutter my digital and my physical workspace. We're going to be cleaning up our computers, laptops, phones, email calendars to do list desk, office, pretty much do a full makeover and we'll make it even more convenient by sinking up all of our files and data across all of our workspaces. So let's get started. 2. Digital Decluttering: Over the years, I've tried a lot of different productivity methods. I borrowed my favorite bits and pieces from some of my favorite authors. So I've remakes these ingredients into a method that works for me and I'll put links to their resources for further reading if you're interested. So pretty much there are two frameworks that are used to guide my system. For organization. I used something I like to call the RIP method, which stands for records, inbox and projects records contains the majority of my files. In Box is where I dump all my new files, which I can then categorize later. And then projects are the current ones that I'm working on. At the moment. I have sub-folders in my records for all the areas of my life. For example, I have a folder for school, of folder for medical, finance, family, etc. Whenever I'm working on a specific project within one of these areas, I move that project into the projects folder and when I'm done with it, I move it back to the records. And whenever new files come into my system, I immediately put them into the inbox, whether it's downloads or files from my co-workers or family photos, anything that comes in goes straight to the inbox. And as you can see, I like to use my inbox as a kind of gatekeeper to my entire system because I don't want to be constantly distracted by random files coming in all times of the day. So what I do is I scheduled time either at the end of the day or even sometimes the end of the week where I specifically dedicate that time to going through and clearing my inbox by either categorizing it into records or putting into projects or just putting it in the trash. And the goal by the end of this course is to have the same three folders, the RI and P. And within your records folders, you will have the same sub folders across all your devices. So the second framework I use is for processing my inbox. And this framework helps me decide what I need and don't need to keep. So what I'm trying to decide whether or not I should keep or throw away an item or a file. I'll ask myself these three questions. First is, will this help me do my work? Work, meaning professional work? Second is will this make my life easier? And this includes non-work life, friends, family, community, life goals, ambitions, that sort of stuff. And finally, will this make me happy? So notice how all the questions use the word will, like, will this make me happy? The question isn't, did this make me happy? I use the word will because some of my items may have made me happy in the past, but going forward, we'll distill make me happy and if I can't answer yes to any of those three questions, and then I throw that item out. And the way that I like to remember these three questions is the phrase work, life, happiness. Alright, so that was a general overview of my method for digital decluttering. Let's put them to action in the next chapter, starting with our computers. 3. Class Project: So by the end of this course, we'll have D cluttered our digital workspace and transformed it into a cozy ecosystem that motivates and inspires us. And as we go through each of the phases, take a photo of your before and after and post them here to inspire your fellow classmates. 4. Decluttering your computer: In this chapter, we're going to start by de-cluttering our computers or laptops or whatever your primary electronic device happens to be. And if you don't use a computer, then feel free to skip this chapter and move on to the next one. So for this course, I'm going to be using Canva to demonstrate the steps. In real life, I use a Mac, but to avoid confusion with those of you using Windows or Android or Linux or any other operating system. I'm just going to keep it simple and use these graphics to represent everything. So here is a reminder of the RIP method that we'll be using to organize all of our workspaces. So first take a screenshot or a photo your desktop in its current state so that we can compare it as a before and after by the end of the chapter. So to start the RIP method, you can make a brand new folder for each of these three, just right here on your desktop. Okay, so I'm going to now open the records folder and create my sub-folders. These are myself folders. You can borrow what I use if you'd like or feel free to make your own personalized to you. And remember that the goal by the end of this course is that you'll have this same subfolders across all your devices. So now that that's done, let's start by decluttering the desktop. What we're gonna do is drag everything we see on the desktop and put it into the inbox folder. And there we have it. Your desktop is completely cluttered and we are done. And I will see you in the next chapter. Just kidding. But now comes the hard part. We're going to use the three big questions to process our inbox. I'm going to go through each of these files one by one and ask myself, will this help me with work? Will this make my life easier? Or will this make me happy? Okay, so let's start with this pretends document. Let's say that it's a medical record of all the vaccinations that I've ever gotten. So let's go ahead and ask the three big questions. Will this help me do my work and better? Probably not. Will this make my life easier? Probably because it's nice to have your medical records handy in case you need it for your doctor or any other job application. And then finally, will this make me happy? Probably not. But right off the bat, we see that I've already answered yes to one of the three questions. And that means that I'm going to be keeping this document. So let's move it into the appropriate subfolder within the records folder. So let's brainstorm some more ideas here. This is an employment contract. Will it help me with work? Yes. So I'll put it into my work subfolder. These are photos we took on our last vacation. Will it help me with work? Probably not. Will it help me with life? No, maybe not. But looking at it makes me happy. So I'll put it into my family subfolder. And then this is an instruction manual for a bookshelf. It doesn't answer any of the three questions. So that will go into the trash. So I don't know how cluttered your desktop is. It might take you a few minutes to do it might take you a few days, but go at your own pace. But for now let's move on. So I'm going to move the records folder and put it away in my documents. Basically, I just want to take it off the desktop. As the name implies, they are records, so I'm probably not going to be accessing them all that often. The two folders that I like to keep my desktop are the inbox and the projects folder. So the Projects folder will contain all the projects that I'm working on at the moment. So let's say I'm currently editing this video for my YouTube channel. It's nice to have handy. But when I'm done with it, I'll move this project to its appropriate subfolder in the records. And I'm currently working on this video course, so it'd be nice to have it easily accessible on my desktop as well. But yeah, so the flow goes like this. Whenever a new file or document enters my computer, it goes straight into the inbox. That way I know where it is and I don't have to immediately deal with it at that very moment. I can make some time at the end of the day or at the end of the week to process my inbox and put everything where it belongs. If I spend a little time here and there throughout the day as things come in to reorganize my inbox, It's just really distracting. So a quick tip that I found helpful is that I changed the location of my internet downloads to my inbox folder. So you can do this by going to the settings in your browser and changing the folder destination. That way you don't have a Downloads folder that's just building up to critical mass over time without, without you knowing, another tip that I found useful is to have Cloud Storage. I edit videos, so I need a lot of storage space, especially for four K footage. Maddie and I use G Suite for Business. We get unlimited storage. And the best part is that our files are on the Cloud, sync across all of our devices. So our iPads, phones, laptops, they all have the same three folders, records in box projects. And having everything seemed just makes it so much more convenient. Alright, so we've just finished the clutter and our computers. When you're done, take a picture of your desktop and post a before and after shots so that other students can marvel at your amazing work. And in the next chapter, we'll move on to decluttering or email. 5. Decluttering your email: So in this chapter will be de-cluttering our email. And it doesn't matter how many email addresses you have, because I have quite a few. You can use the same system across all the emails. I'm gonna make the three folders according to the RIP method again. But notice that I don't actually need to make a folder for the inbox because all emails come with a built-in inbox. So again, within my records folder, you'll see that I have the same sub folders that I had from my computer. And I also have my projects folder. Anything that requires an action or a reply soon. I'll put it in my projects folder. Also, anything that I'm waiting on it from someone else or any order confirmations or receipts for things I haven't received yet. They'll all be in the Projects folder. And once I'm done with them, I'll either trash them or move them into records. I don't use my inbox for storage space. You can easily mix up your email that way. So I urge you to go through emails in your inbox and as the three questions and sort them all out. But before you start doing that, just quickly take a picture of how many emails you have builds up in your inbox. Some of you might have thousands of emails and it may take days or even weeks. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of organizing all your e-mails, what you can do is create a new folder and just call it old inbox, and then move everything there. And then slowly just shift that that folder over time. And if you need anything, you can always search your old inbox too. But clear out your current inbox. You can start fresh. So a quick tip is, as you're sorting through your inbox, you might notice that you're subscribed to a lot of different newsletters or company mailing lists or promotions. So ask yourself three questions about all the mailing lists that you are subscribed to and unsubscribe from all the ones that no longer fulfill the three questions. Another tip I've found useful is only go through your e-mail once or twice a day unless you're waiting on some super urgent important email or something, most days you don't need to check your email more than that. So as I mentioned before, I like to block out some time at the end of the day, sometimes at the end of the week, process my email inbox and categorize all my emails. All right. So we've just finished de-cluttering our emails. Once you've brought your inbox down to 0, go ahead and take a picture and show all the other students just how long it took for you to get this organized. It can definitely be motivating to see in the next chapter will be decluttering our calendar. So see you there. 6. Decluttering your calendar: So in this chapter we're going to declutter our calendars. The photo for this one is optional. You don't have to show other students what you have planned on your calendar. So just like how you can waste a lot of time on email and social media. You can definitely waste a lot of time in meetings and events. You might find that you're constantly tending to the needs of others or trying to make time for others. But really de-cluttering your calendar is all about making time for yourself. So for all your current calendar events and all events moving forward, you want to always ask the three big questions before you put on your calendar. If an event doesn't answer any of the three questions and you can get out of it, then get out of it, cancel the event. But I wouldn't go around cancelling left and right and taking back promises that you've already made to other people, that's probably not gonna go very well. So a quick tip. I found that when I was just starting out with something, I had to automatically say yes to literally everything because I wanted to open as many doors as possible in life. But once I figured out which doors I wanted to take, I had to change my mindset to automatically say no to everything. If it's really that important than the other person will come back to you again and again. And you can then decide at that time whether or not you want to say yes or no to their requests. But now getting into the mindset, initially saying no to everyone else is really just saying yes to everything that you wanna do. So from here on out, whenever anyone or anything makes a demand on your calendar, ask yourself three questions. Work, life, happiness, and see if it deserves a slot on your calendar. If it does deserve a slot to be on your calendar, then either put it directly on your calendar if you know the date and time or if you don't and you still need to work out the scheduling, then you can put it on your to-do lists so that you don't forget to scheduled later. And with that said, let's go ahead and wrap up this chapter. And in the next chapter, we'll talk about de-cluttering our to-do list. 7. Decluttering your to-do list: So in this chapter we're going to declutter our to-do lists. And before we start, take a picture of your current daily to-do lists. And let's look at the RIP method again. So I have a list called inbox and I have a list called projects. But my records list is really just a combination of my daily list and my calendar. But to do lists in many ways is an extension of your calendar. So whatever you have on your calendar for that day goes onto your daily to-do list. But there are a lot of tasks and projects that don't have an exact date and time. For example, if you're waiting on a response from another team member for a current project, or if your friend randomly send you a video or something and you told them that you've watched on your free time. These are the kind of tasks that can be put into your project's list. And then you can check these at the end of the day. So I find that an inbox list is really helpful for eliminating distracting thoughts. So for example, when I'm working and I have a distracting thought like, Oh crap, and mom's birthday's coming up, and I need to get her a present or a thought, like a new idea for a YouTube video or a blog post. And I don't want to forget it. I'll immediately write it down onto my inbox list. So if a thought pops into my head, I will never remember it. If I don't write it down. I've lost so many good ideas before just trying to hold on to thoughts in my memory. But when I do this, I'm basically occupying the space in my memory, and this prevents me from truly focusing on the task right in front of me. So the inbox list is great for storing fleeting ideas. And I can always go through my inbox list at the end of the day or the end of the week. And at that time, I'll ask the three big questions, work, life, happiness for each of the things on my inbox lists. And if it meets any of the three questions, then it's worthy of being scheduled onto my calendar. We are now done with de-cluttering our to-do lists. Taken after photo and go ahead and post it to see how your before and after I've changed. In the next chapter, we will be decluttering our phones. 8. Decluttering your phone: So in this chapter we're going to be decluttering our phones, which is possibly the workspace that's filled with the most distractions compared to all the previous other workspaces. To start, you can take a screenshot of your phone's home screen for the before picture. And let's get to it from my phone is just a taking bomb full of notifications and messages and e-mails ready to go off at anytime. And the more apps I have installed, the more notifications I'm going to get. So the first thing we're gonna do is go through each and every one of our apps. And as the three big questions, if the app passes the test, then you keep it. If not deleted, the RIP method doesn't really apply well here, but if you want, you can organize your apps into groups that reflect your records subfolders. So quick tip, if you want to save time and you're brave enough to do this, you could try deleting all the apps on your phone all at once, like right in the very beginning. And then you only re-install the ones that you use. A lot of us still have apps on our phones that haven't been touched for years and they're just kind of sitting there collecting dust and taking up storage. So another quick tip is whenever you download a new app and use it for about a week or so. After that week, ask yourself the three big questions to see if it's worth keeping. I just say a week, it could be a month. What I mean is use the app until the free trial runs out, and then after that, reassess the value of that app by asking three questions. All right, So now that you've declared your phone, take a photo of what it looks like afterwards and show us the before and after. So similar to our computer desktop, our phone home screen can be one of the first workspaces that we see in the morning. So having a motivational wallpaper or a organized layouts can really make a difference. In the next chapter, we're going to tackle the final workspace, which is decluttering our desk. 9. Decluttering your desk: So in this chapter we're going to be de-cluttering our desk and our office. The physical workspace is connected to our digital workspace because any clutter that you have in one area can easily overflow into the other and vice versa. The before and after photos for this phase are going to be really fun to see. So make sure that you take a nice picture of your desk setup while it's still really messy. So the RIP method can and should be applied to your desk and your office. Your inbox should be an actual physical inbox. I like having a tray on my desk and some people also like having a tray their office door to receive mail and documents when the door is closed for your records and projects, I'd recommend getting an organizer or making more space in your drawers. Some people also have bookshelves, the whole book records. So let's start with all the books and documents first. So go ahead and gather up all the books and papers. And one-by-one, go through each of them and ask that three big questions. If a document doesn't make the cut, then recycle it. If a book doesn't make a cut, then consider gifting it to someone else who might find it useful or donate it or recycle it is basically you should only be left with the books and documents that you need. So go ahead and organize your books onto a bookshelf and organize your documents into sub-folders. And you can go ahead and label those subfolders similar to the ones that you did across all your electronic devices. Quick tip here is that you can now take the time to take photos of all your documents to electronically save them. Next is the most time-consuming part of the process. We're gonna go through and declutter all the stuff. So I'm talking about office supplies, personal care products, food, tools, and sentimental items. So go ahead and gather up all your items. And one by one, go through and ask the three big questions in a while you're doing this, your drawers and cabinets are going to be cleared out. So take this opportunity to reassess how you're going to use them. For example, I had a drawer full of ketchup packets and napkins, and I never really use them. So I was able to repurpose it to store handy cables and chargers. A quick tip here, sentimental things can be very hard to let go, even when, you know, it's time for them to go. Sometimes we hold on to things that did bring us happiness at some point in the past. But they've since then lost some of that power. So you can take a photo of your item and store on your phone or your computer, and this can make it easier to let go. And other tip I found helpful for Marie Kondo to help let go of sentimental things is by showing gratitude. So you don't want to just randomly be throwing items away and left and right. You want to take some time and thank the item for serving you well up to this point in your life. Then after that, you can let it go. And in the end, the items that you're left with are only the ones that clearly reflect the values that are important to you now. All right, so once you've finished the clutter in your desk and your office, go ahead and take an after photo. The before and after photos in this chapter are going to be really fun to look at. And some of them might be drastically different, so don't be afraid to share them. And join me in the next chapter, we're going to be wrapping up with some final thoughts. 10. Wrap-up: Congrats for making it to the end of this course, de-cluttering can be a time-consuming process, but it can also create more free time for you going forward. Now that you've organized your life. At this point, hopefully you've applied the RIP method across all your workspaces and have everything seemed over time, you can adjust your subfolders to the season of life that you're in. And you can always modify your current system with anything new that you've learned. If you do learn new things, please take a moment to share it with us too, because we're always looking for ways to improve our system. If you want to read more about all the people that inspired my de-clutter process. I'll leave a list of references in the class resources. Thanks for watching and stay productive.