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6 Tips for Nailing a Phone Interview

During every job search, you need to be prepared for the possibility that your interview might happen over the phone. Some companies will call you as a part of the screening process to determine whether you’re a good fit for the next step. Others will conduct the entire interview over the phone.

You may think that being interviewed over the phone is easier, but the process comes with its own set of challenges. Not talking to someone face to face has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Keep in mind that, while some companies call in advance to schedule the interview, others ask whether you’ve got the time to talk about the job right away.

Here are some tips that can help you get ready for a phone interview and pass it with flying colors.

Prepare for the Interview

Regardless if you know the time of the interview or it happens out of the blue, you need to be prepared. Take some time researching the company and tailoring the list of your qualifications to the requirements of the job role. Jot down your strengths and weaknesses and go through some of the common interview questions. You should also prepare the questions for the interviewer.

When you get that call, you need to be comfortable during the conversation, so have all the materials at hand. This includes the job ad, your resume, and the cover letter you’ve sent.

Practice Before Getting Called

Practicing by having a friend conduct a mock interview can help you not only go through the common questions but will also enable you to determine what you sound like. The best solution is to record everything. This way, you’ll be able to hear if you’ve got any verbal tics that you should avoid and if you are talking too slowly or too quickly. 

There’s no need to try to memorize your answers. The best approach is to have a general idea of what you’re going to say instead.

Leave a Strong First Impression

When the phone rings, you need to be the one that answers it. State your name to let them know they’re talking to the right person. Since your body language won’t be seen, you have to do the best you can with your words. Show that you’re enthusiastic about the call by thanking them for the time and stating that you’ve been looking forward to the interview. Smiling while you talk can help because it will stop you from sounding bored.

Listen to the Interviewer

Remember that meaningful communication is a two-way street, so do your best to listen to what the interviewer is saying. Don’t interrupt them until they’ve finished the question. If they’re talking and you’ve got important things you want to say, you can jot them down and say them later.

Listening is crucial because you need to respond to everything correctly. If you didn’t understand the question, ask the interviewer to repeat it. Giving an answer to a question that you weren’t actually asked is likely to make the other party think you aren’t paying attention.

Don’t Give Prolonged Answers

While you shouldn’t give short and vague answers, talking for a while without checking what’s going on on the other side of the line won’t work either. 

If the interviewer interrupts you, let them. If they don’t, you can make a short pause and see if they ask you something else. You can also ask if you’ve provided enough information and if they would like to hear more.

Use Your Closing Words Wisely

Regardless of how you feel the interview went, you should end the conversation on a high note. Let the interviewer know that you’re looking forward to the following steps in the process and hoping you’ll get the chance to meet them in person.

This is also your opportunity to let the other party know that the interview helped you learn all that you need about the company and strengthened your interest in the job.

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6 Tips on How To Ask for a Professional Recommendation

One of the most helpful assets when it comes to job searching is having a professional recommendation from the right person. If you can get a letter of reference, it will let potential employers know that you’re experienced, trustworthy, and a professional.

While there’s a wide range of sources where people can look for recommendations, such as social and professional networking sites, plenty of people have a problem—they don’t know how and what to ask.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to ask for a professional recommendation, we’ve got you covered. After talking to some of the greatest experts on the subject, we’ve gathered a list of six tips that can help you out with the process. What you need to do is:

  1. Ask the right person
  2. Make it easy for them
  3. Know how to ask
  4. Explain your reasons
  5. Provide guidance
  6. Return the favor

Ask the Right Person

Depending on the platform you’re using, it’s important to know who to ask for a recommendation. If you go to a professional networking platform and start asking everyone to help you out, chances are that people will find your request pushy and won’t want to deal with you. In this situation, you should only ask people that you’ve collaborated with in the past.

There are also sites that are dedicated to enabling professionals to get recommendations from their co-workers. In that case, you should ask as many people as you can.

Make It Easy for Them

You need to make it easy for a colleague to give you a recommendation. Approach them politely and let them know what you’re looking for. Don’t ask for a comprehensive recommendation that requires answering too many questions. If you do so, your colleague might feel like you’re asking for too much of their time. 

What you should do instead is ask for just a few minutes of your colleague’s time. You’re more likely to get a recommendation if your request is simple.

Know How To Ask

You can’t approach a colleague and just ask them to recommend you. You need to see how they feel about your work and determine if they’re willing to help you out. Ask them if they think that you’re doing a good job and if they would be willing to give you a recommendation based on your performance.

The way you phrase your question matters because it’s important to let your colleague know that they don’t have to feel pressured about giving you an affirmative answer. If they know that you won’t mind if they decline your request, they might be more inclined to give you a hand. Keep in mind that recommendations can affect both sides.

Explain Your Reasons

It’s important to let the colleague know your reasons for asking them to recommend you. Provide them with some context, such as directing them to the job posting that you’re interested in. If you’re looking for a way to increase your reputation, you should let your colleague know that their professional input and recommendation can help you to boost your brand.

Provide Guidance

When looking for a recommendation, you should provide guidance on what you’d want it to say about you. While plenty of people don’t want to use generic statements such as claiming that you’re a great person to work with, they might not have a better idea about where to start. 

This is why you should ask them to say something about a project you’ve done together or comment on a particular aspect of your work that they’re familiar with. The less pressured they feel, the more likely they are to recommend you.

Return the Favor

Keep in mind that it isn’t all about you. When asking for a recommendation, you should offer something in return. See if they might be looking for a recommendation as well. Keep in mind that the person you approach about a recommendation should be someone whose work you appreciate. You don’t want to return the favor and have it reflect badly on you. 

While asking for a recommendation isn’t easy, it can make a lot of difference when it comes to your reputation. The more referrals you’ve got, the easier it will be to find a new job.

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How To Get Hired and Advance Your Career Working for a Startup

When it comes to working for startups, you’ll commonly hear two points of view—it’s either too risky or extremely rewarding. The reality is that startups provide plenty of opportunities for advancing your career. They are more flexible and consist of creative and passionate individuals with innovative ideas. 

If you decide that a startup is a perfect place for you to start building your career, you need to find the answers to two crucial questions:

  • What does it take for me to get hired by a startup?
  • How do I advance my career while working there?

How To Get Hired by a Startup

Getting hired by a startup is not as easy as some people think. Let’s take a look at several ways you can show that you’re up to the task.

Show That You’re Capable of Adapting

One of the most common traits of startups is that they’re constantly changing and adapting to the growth of the organization and different business practices that will shape the company. To show that you’re a good fit for such an organization, the hiring manager needs to see that you’re flexible. 

You need to be curious, prepared to learn, and able to provide innovative ideas on how the startup can improve.

Show a Passion for What The Startup Does

You need to show a passion for the startup’s vision and products. It’s crucial that you do your research and show the organization that you can be a valuable asset. A company that is still building and evolving depends on individuals that are dedicated to their cause. 

You can show them that you are the right person for the job by providing constructive feedback on your experience with their product. Start meaningful discussions about it on their blog and social media channels. This way, you’ll show that you’re a brand evangelist that can improve their team.

Prepare for the Interview

When you get invited to an interview, you should prepare some of your answers and questions ahead. While startup interviews are commonly more casual, ensure that you look professional and sell them the best pitch for why you think you’d be perfect for the job. Present them with valuable suggestions on how you think your role can help the startup succeed. 

You should show that you’re ready to take on different responsibilities since startups usually have fewer employees taking on various roles.

How To Advance at a Startup

In an organization that’s constantly evolving, it may seem daunting to figure out how to progress your career. Here’s some advice that can help you climb the ladder.

Take On New Projects

While startups focus on evolving to meet the industry standards, they also commonly have a limited budget. This shouldn’t discourage you because the organization’s efforts to expand mean that it’ll likely take up different projects. 

While performing various tasks that you’re assigned with, pay attention to which department the startup is likely to focus on developing the most. Volunteer to help with any projects relevant for that department, and your boss will probably appreciate your efforts and keep them in mind when it comes to your future in the organization.

Let Everyone Know About Your Goals

If you want to get ahead at a startup, you need to make it known. While your managers appreciate your growth, they might not be aware of what kind of advancement you’re after. Do you want to be assigned to more projects or are you looking to be promoted to a higher-ranking role?

Let your manager know about your goals. Be specific about the kind of skills and experiences you want to gain and be open about which role you would like to take on when given the opportunity.

Show That You Can Lead

You may not be managing a team, but you will have plenty of chances to show your leadership skills. When the organization hires new employees, you can offer to provide them with the necessary training and knowledge. You can also show that you can be autonomous by establishing a plan for how you can be most productive. 

If you can show the management that you’re capable of taking matters into your hands and being a role model to others, you’re likely to be the person they think of when deciding who to promote.

If you work hard, take up different projects, show that you can lead, and pay attention to how the startup is evolving, you’ll have a bright future working there.

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4 Essential Steps for Excelling at Your Career

If you want to have a successful career, you need to take your motivation further than having a great day at work or nailing a difficult project. It’s more about commitment to constantly working on your personal and professional growth. 

While you may be talented and doing a great job at impressing your boss and colleagues, it will only get you so far. Your career should be a planned journey of self-evaluation and improvement, where you’re able to take a step back, look at the big picture, and determine where you want to go and how to get there.

To help you get a better idea of how to excel in your career, we present you with four essential steps you should consider.

Evaluate Your Progress

You need to set concrete and measurable goals and assess your performance regularly. While receiving appraisal from your boss is essential for getting a more objective view of your progress, you need to be the one that tracks your career’s success. 

You should establish a plan on how you want to achieve your goals by setting up weekly tasks. Sit down to assess your performance at the end of each week and determine whether your strategy needs to be adjusted.

Learn From Your Mistakes

You should accept that everyone makes mistakes and try to not be hard on yourself when you fail. Don’t scold yourself over what went wrong—try to approach it constructively. Instead of letting your emotions guide you, try to figure out what caused the mistake, how it could have been avoided, and what you should do now that you’ve made it. 

Build and Nurture a Network

For a successful career, you need to build a strong network of people you can learn from. This includes friends, colleagues, and people from other organizations. You can try to connect with various influencers by checking out their webinars or presentations and commenting on them. 

If you can, you should find a mentor that can guide you through your progress by providing expert advice.

Try To Find the Optimal Work-Life Balance

While excelling at your career mostly depends on hard work and commitment, you mustn’t let it overshadow your personal life. You need to be happy with different aspects of your life to have a strong foundation for a successful career. It may not be easy, but finding a satisfying work-life balance is crucial.

Remember that it’s okay to take a break and spend some time doing other activities that fulfill you. If you overwork yourself to build your career, you’re more likely to slow down your progress than improve it.

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Is Your Business Investing More Time In Social Media Than It Should

The rise of social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram has changed the way businesses communicate with their prospects and build customer relationships. What was once based solely on emails and phone conversations has become a more extensive approach to reaching a wider audience through all kinds of engaging content.

The issue that plenty of businesses come across eventually is the question of how much the time invested in their social media profiles pays off. While it may seem simple at first, the effective use of social media takes a lot of effort. You need to create a strong social media strategy, identify and create optimal content, run eye-catching targeted ads, etc.

If you’re wondering whether you’re wasting time with your social media channels, here are a few pieces of advice that can help you gain a better perspective.

Don’t Neglect Other Channels

The moment when it’s natural to conclude that you might be spending too much time on social media is when you realize that you’ve started to neglect other channels. Marketing campaigns generally work best when they combine different kinds of efforts, including email and offline marketing methods.

It’s also not to forget about building relationships. While social media may be one of the most powerful methods of connecting with your target audience, it should never be the only one. Some of the vital relationships in business are best formed in person, such as during events and conferences.

Use Social Media Channels In Line With Your Audience

You shouldn’t run a social media strategy on a particular channel because everyone else is doing so. You need to focus on your target audience. This means considering crucial factors such as the demographics of your customers and their preferences. 

There’s no point building an extensive Instagram strategy if your audience isn’t there. If you know where your customers spend their time, you can focus on improving that channel’s reach. Aside from using data analytics, you can ask people where they prefer to get in touch with you.

Take What Experts Say As Advice Instead of a Principle

Along with the growth of social media came the rise of various expert roles in the field, such as social media consultants and specialists. Plenty of businesses hire these experts to help build and manage successful social media channels. 

While plenty of experts will do their best to improve your social media efforts as a part of a larger marketing strategy, there are those that will try to convince you that having a profile on Instagram or Facebook is a surefire way to double or triple your leads. Considering what we’ve discussed about figuring out your audience, it’s safe to say that this approach can set up unrealistic expectations.

If you want to invest your time, effort, and money into social media, you need to be aware that getting a lot of likes isn’t the same as increasing your conversions and sales. Similar to your other efforts, social media is mostly about building relationships. 

When you create an email campaign, you usually focus on nurturing your leads. Instead of sending them a sales pitch in your welcome email, you provide them with valuable content and suggestions that can solve their pain points. It’s when your recipients get to know and trust you that you email them about your products and present them with special offers.

Your efforts on social media channels should work the same. While some methods result in direct sales, you should spend most of your time growing your community and building a presence by creating and nurturing relationships. 

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6 Ways to Show Your Gratitude to Your Employees

In the workplace, everyone likes knowing that their hard work is appreciated. As the head of the company, you should show gratitude to your employees whenever it’s appropriate. When your employees know that you’re happy with their efforts, they are likely to be more motivated and productive.

While saying “Thank you” can sometimes be enough, you should put more effort into the ways you show your gratitude to your employees. Here are some ideas that you can try.

Send a Thank-You Note or Email

A simple gesture such as an email or handwritten note that lets an employee know how much you appreciate the hard work they’ve put into a project or their overall contribution to the company can go a long way. 

If you want to go with a handwritten note, make sure to surprise your employee by leaving it on their desk before they come to work or during a lunch break. When it comes to emails, you can either make it personal or send it to the entire team so that everyone else can join in with their compliments.

Give a Meaningful Gift

When showing gratitude to someone, giving a gift usually the first idea that comes to mind. What’s important is that you make the gift meaningful. A generic gift card doesn’t say “Thank you” in a way that reflects your employee’s hard work and dedication. 

The best kinds of gifts are personalized ones. If you know an employee well enough, get them a paperback book that revolves around their interests or professional growth. This is a great way to show that you care about their personal life and want to see them achieve their career goals.

Take Your Team Out to Lunch

Taking your team out to lunch is another simple gesture that can boost everyone’s spirits and let them know that they’re a part of the collective that they’re contributing to. This is your opportunity to talk to everyone and get to know them better. 

Aside from showing gratitude, it’s a great way to let your employees know that you’re not a distant authoritative figure that they can’t talk to and spend fun time with. 

Have One-On-One Chats With Employees

Sometimes, one of the best ways to show gratitude to an employee is to listen to them intently. While many bosses think that they’re the ones that should do most of the talking, you should be the kind of leader that listens to your staff. Some of your team members might have valuable ideas that they’d like to share with you. Others might need a pat on the back to let them know that they’re doing a good job even if they’re having a hard time with it.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with your employees and have a genuine conversation with each of them. Let them speak their mind and provide feedback if needed.

Give Your Workers Time Off

You can show your employees that you recognize their contribution to the company by giving them paid time off when they need it. Even if they don’t ask for it openly, you can let them spend time with their family during the holidays or have a few days to take a break when they’re burnt-out from work.

If it’s the end of the workweek and there aren’t any tasks that can’t wait until Monday, you can let everyone go home early. Performing such acts from time to time will make your team not only feel appreciated but reciprocate those feelings as well.

Provide Development Resources

Since your employees’ professional growth is in everyone’s interest, you can offer to cover the expenses of taking classes and getting the certifications necessary for their career advancement. If you’ve got the budget for it, this can be the perfect way to say “Thank you” and provide your team members with what they need to become better at what they do.

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How To Negotiate a Raise When Your Boss Claims the Company Isn’t Making Enough Profit

When trying to negotiate a raise with your boss, you’ll sometimes be met with an explanation that the company isn’t making enough profit for you to be promoted. While it may be the case that the organization is going through a rough patch, there’s also a chance that your boss is making an excuse not to give you what you deserve. 

If your boss isn’t telling you the truth, you need to come up with a plan for how to approach them properly and improve the chances of increasing your salary.

Do Your Research

If the boss claims that the company isn’t making enough profit, you need to do your research before setting up a meeting with them. This means gathering all the information that you can about the company’s financial status.

While it may be difficult to get all the information that you need if you’re working for a private company, you can gain valuable insight from a variety of sources. This includes investors, press releases, and the company’s website. You should also keep your ears open during company meetings and see if you can learn something valuable from VPs of sales and finance.

You should also look into the employee policies and see if you can find any information on the rules and timetables regarding promotions. Find out how often your company gives raises to employees and determine the best time to set up a meeting with your boss.

Build Your Case

If you’re going to negotiate a raise with your boss, you need to build a case for yourself. This means communicating clearly that you’re asking for a salary equal to the effort you put into your work. You should emphasize how much what you’ve done has helped the overall improvement of the company’s business efforts.

It’s important to convey how you’ve contributed to the company’s efforts to save money and make a profit. You also need to present what else you can bring to the table. Provide suggestions on how the company can improve its strategies to generate more profit in the future. Assess the organization’s goals and come up with ideas on how it can achieve them more effectively. The plan that you propose can be the reason why your boss decides to give you a raise.

Identify Your Alternatives

When negotiating a raise, you need to have a backup plan in case you don’t get what you’re asking for. Think about what you’re willing to accept instead of monetary compensation. Consider other options that can improve your career, such as a different job role or a high-visibility project you’d like to take on.

If your boss agrees to promote you to a higher-ranking job role, you’ll get a salary increase soon enough. If that’s also not an option, you can ask for other valuable solutions, such as certifications, flexible work hours, reimbursements for travel and training expenses, etc.

Try To Reach an Agreement

At the end of the meeting, you should try to reach an agreement that you’ll be satisfied with. If the boss hasn’t decided to give you a raise right away, you can agree to work hard on bringing in a particular amount of money during a certain period of time to earn an increased salary. Be specific with the numbers, and you can improve your chances of getting a raise when the time comes.

If you don’t succeed in getting what you’re asking for, you can decide to drop your request temporarily and ask for it to be acknowledged that you’re doing so because you want to help the company get through the difficult period. This can give you an advantage in any future negotiations.

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How Many Co-Workers Consider You a Friend?

Many modern companies are modeling their workforce by creating a community atmosphere. It’s common for co-workers to form genuine friendships in such surroundings, but there are still those that prefer their work relationships to remain professional.

According to the survey conducted by Olivet College in Michigan, 82% of 3,000 full-time employees said that they feel like they can consider at least one of their colleagues a friend. 

The survey determined that the participants saw 41% of the employees as merely co-workers and 22% as strangers. 20% of the colleagues were seen as “work friends” while 15% got labeled as true friends. It’s interesting to note that 2% got the title of enemies.

29% of the respondents said that they’ve found a best friend at work.

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8 Surefire Ways To Ace Your Second Interview

If you’ve just passed your first interview, congratulations are in order! This means that the company is interested in you and that the management is considering hiring you. You should be proud of yourself, but if you receive an invitation to a second interview, it’s normal for your excitement to be replaced with a new wave of anxiety.

Plenty of companies conduct two or more tiers of interviews. This is because each round has a specific goal. The first interview is usually about screening applicants to see which ones have the basic qualifications for the job. The second interview focuses on more exhaustive questions with the means to determine whether you are the best fit for the role and how you can bring value to the company.

To help ease your anxiety and learn what you need to do, we present you with eight expert tips on how to ace the second interview.

  1. Assess your first interview
  2. Present yourself in the best light
  3. Don’t lose your enthusiasm
  4. Present your attributes clearly
  5. Give honest answers
  6. Ask meaningful questions
  7. Sell your final pitch
  8. Send a thank-you email

Assess Your First Interview

One of the best ways to prepare for the second interview is to evaluate the first one. Think about the questions you were asked and how well you answered them. If there’s something that you forgot to say or could have elaborated on more, come up with a better answer in your head.

During the second round, it’s likely that you’ll be interviewed by other people, which means that some of the previous questions might be revisited. This is when you’ll have the opportunity to provide a more comprehensive response that your interviewers will appreciate.

Present Yourself In the Best Light

As opposed to the first interview that was more about general questions, the second interview is usually more technical. The goal is to determine whether you’ve got the knowledge that the job requires. Aside from the hiring manager, you’re likely to be questioned by consultants and senior staff members. This is your opportunity to present yourself in the best light.

Sell yourself by telling engaging stories about your previous experiences and accomplishments. You need to be confident and answer all the questions as best as you can. There will be tricky questions that will require you to think on your feet. Keeping it cool will show your interviewers how you perform under pressure.

Don’t Lose Your Enthusiasm

The way you hold yourself during the interview is crucial. Keep in mind that the process can take hours. It can consist of multiple phases where you’ll be questioned by each interviewer independently. 

Keep in mind that every interviewer is evaluating both your motivation and qualifications. This is why you need to hold onto your enthusiasm, even if they ask you the same question multiple times.

Present Your Attributes Clearly

During the interview, you’ll need to present your attributes clearly by giving specific examples. This includes both your soft and hard skills. Let the interviewers know where you’ve gained those skills and how you’ve used them to solve problems and face challenges during your previous work experiences. 

If the job requires strong analytical skills, you’ll likely be given a hypothetical problem to solve. While your interviewers will expect you to provide an adequate solution, they will also assess your communication skills during the process.

Give Honest Answers

While both interviews require you to make the best impression possible, it doesn’t mean that you should lie. You need to give honest answers because the job that you’ve applied for could be the next crucial step that defines your career. 

If you tell the interviewers what they want to hear, you’ll be doing everyone a disservice. While you are being evaluated for the role, you should also be the one assessing whether you want the job to begin with. If you realize that you don’t have the answers to many of the questions, maybe the job isn’t for you.

Ask Meaningful Questions

Your first interview probably included the part where you were supposed to ask questions. During the second interview, your questions are going to be even more important. They can enable the interviewers to see how your priorities match the company’s interests and help you learn more about your possible future job. This is why your questions need to be meaningful to both sides. 

You can ask about the challenges that the company is facing at the moment and how your role can help face them. You can also inquire about the organization’s long-term and short-term goals and how you can grow in line with them. This can be your opportunity to learn more about the company’s culture and see if you are a good fit. If you don’t receive an offer right away, you can ask about the next step in the process.

Sell Your Final Pitch

At the end of the interview, you’ll likely have an opportunity to say a few more words, so make them count. This is your chance to sell a persuasive pitch for why you are the best candidate for the job. Even if you’ve already discussed what you can bring to the table throughout the interview, present your unique selling proposition to everyone one more time.

Send a Thank-You Email

Most often, the company will take some time to decide who to hire. When the interview is done, you should be the one to follow up with a thank-you email. This way, you’ll show your continued interest in the job and the company. Write a brief and professional message, letting them know that you appreciate their time and hope to hear back from them with a decision soon.

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5 Steps for Decluttering Your Computer Files

Do you leave your books, clothes, notebooks, appliances, cooking utensils, and various other household items lying around your home? If you do, you’re probably having a lot of trouble finding what you need. Clutter is also a powerful productivity killer, drawing your attention away from tasks and bugging you by instilling a sense of chaos.

Because we spend a large part of our lives in the digital world, the same issue with clutter can be applied to how we maintain our computer files. If your desktop is full of icons, and you’ve got a bunch of folders that feel more like black holes, then you’ve got to make a plan for decluttering your digital life.

One of the major aspects of successful decluttering is simplicity. Instead of making everything even more complicated by creating a complex hierarchy of files and folders, you should come up with solutions that will make your daily workflow a breeze.

Let’s take a look at some of the best solutions for decluttering your computer files.

Come Up With a Practical Folder Structure

Before you can declutter your computer files properly, you need to determine where you’re going to put them. This means that you have to come up with a practical folder structure that will make it easy for you to put away different kinds of files and look them up when you need to use them. 

The best solution is to create folders based on a system that you’ll be familiar and comfortable with. This can consist of folders titled Home, Work, Family, Receipts, etc. Start with basic folders that are as general as possible and then create subfolders based on important aspects such as date, event, location, etc. Make sure that the hierarchy isn’t too complicated, so that you can find the files you need easily

You should also create a folder for files that you don’t use regularly but you don’t want to delete.

Consider Alternative Storage Solutions

If your hard drives are packed and you’re having trouble making space for new files and programs, you should consider using cloud storage solutions, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. You can use the same or a similar sorting system for your files there. Keep in mind that you need an internet connection to access these files, so you should store less important ones that you don’t mind getting cut off from temporarily.

If you don’t want to rely on cloud-based options, you can purchase an external hard drive and keep some of your files there. This is a quick and simple solution for storing images, videos, and documents that you don’t use regularly, so that they don’t limit the space on your computer and make it more difficult to find what you need. It’s also one of the best ways to create a backup for your most important files.

Take Care of Your Desktop

For plenty of users, the computer desktop serves as a dumping ground for all sorts of files, folders, and shortcuts. It usually starts with the idea that it’s just a temporary solution before you decide to move them somewhere else. This often ends up turning your desktop into a patchwork of icons covering your background and making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. 

The best solution is to move all those files into the folders you’ve created for specific purposes, and leave only the icons such as Computer, Documents, and Recycle Bin. You can also create a folder for all the program shortcuts that you use frequently. 

When you’re done cleaning your desktop, you should also set up a background that is easy on the eye and doesn’t make navigation unnecessarily difficult. While you may like the idea of using a wallpaper with every possible Fortnite character on it, it’s not the best solution for your productivity.

Clean Temporary Files

Temporary files are one of the primary culprits for cluttering and slowing down your computer. While you can browse your PC and delete some of them manually, there are easier ways to take care of this issue. 

For starters, most operating systems have some kind of in-built cleanup tool. If you’re a Windows user, you can take care of temporary files with the Disk Cleanup tool. It can help you remove a bunch of unnecessary files, such as: 

  • Setup logs
  • Error reports
  • Old Chkdsk files
  • Temporary setup and program files
  • Windows update files
  • Temporary internet files
  • Thumbnails
  • User files history

All you need to do is select the file types you want to delete, and Disk Cleanup will take care of them for you. 

You should also clean up your browser. Browsers keep plenty of leftover files, such as cookies, cached files, and remembered URLs. If you don’t clean them up regularly, they will accumulate and take up a lot of your hard drive space.

Every browser has its cleanup tool that enables you to choose the kind of files you want to remove. Before clicking on the OK button, make sure that the tool doesn’t delete any files that you need, such as stored passwords.

Empty the Recycle Bin

Keep in mind that all the deleted files that end up in the trash still take up space. During your regular decluttering routine, you should remember to empty the Recycle Bin so that all those unnecessary files are gone for good.

If you’d like, you can check out some of our other articles about staying productive and getting your daily tasks done: