A clear desktop is not only great for reducing distraction, and improving your focus and productivity, it’s great for your computer as well. Icons all over a computer desktop are distracting. Instead, clear everything and be left with clarity, calm and focus.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Install a launcher program
Mac users should try either Launchbar or Quicksilver. Windows users could try Launchy or AutoHotKey(for power users). Once set up, the launcher program is activated with a keystroke combination (Command-spacebar in my case), and then you start typing the program or name of the folder or file you want to open.
Usually the correct name will be automatically completed within a few keystrokes, and you press the “Return” key to activate it.
It’s much faster than finding the right icon on your desktop, and then double-clicking it, especially if the desktop is covered by a lot of applications and windows.
2. Delete all application shortcuts
Many people have shortcuts all over their desktops for commonly used applications/programs. You don’t need them anymore, now that you have the launcher program.
Delete them all.
3. Put all folders/files into your Documents folder
Don’t worry too much about sorting them. The launcher program can find them much faster, or you could use the search function of your computer to quickly find anything you’re looking for.
4. Hide everything else
On the PC, right-click on the desktop, go to the “view” menu, and unselect “show desktop icons”. On the Mac, in the Finder, go to File -> Preferences, under General, and unselect all the items under “Show these items on the Desktop”.
Now all your icons should be gone from the desktop.
Doesn’t that look and feel better?
Thanks to Leo Babauta for the ideas contained here.