1) Clear the clutter: Apply the KonMari method to the physical and digital world. Discard anything that doesn’t bring you joy or inspiration. (instruments, outboard gear, plugins, apps, mementos). Keep your contracts, but shred taxes and account statements older than 7 years (to be safe), and discard any documents you don’t need like old manuals that are available in PDF.
2) Remove or replace redundant and broken items: (flashlights, guitar strings, batteries, bad power supplies, slow drives). Invest in better tools, and stop buying crap. A powerful flashlight (ProTac 2L is amazing) and a fast thumb drive (Kingston HyperX) can make a huge difference. Do this in bulk, dedicating one entire day to optimizing your creative workspace.
3) Recycle old materials and electronics: cardboard boxes (seriously – get rid of them!), computers, power supplies, old outdated thumbdrives. Make sure to remove or wipe old hard drives. Use existing materials for simple storage solutions: shoeboxes, dividers, binder clips for holding cables. Most of the items at places like The Container Store are cheaply made solutions that won’t solve your problems.
4) Store, sell, or donate. Store items you absolutely MUST keep in clear, durable canisters – Try Sterlite latching bins. Donate your old iPod to Music & Memory. Watch “Alive Inside” if you need some inspiration. Donate items to Goodwill. Use 1-800-GOTJUNK for bulky pickups. Read more storage ideas
5) Consolidate, schedule, and test backups: Make sure you have a regularly updated bootable system clone backed up daily (try Carbon Copy), in addition to backup for your other attached drives. Use two cloud solutions if possible. Make sure to boot and test your backups!
6) Wipe the slate clean: Do a clean install of your operating system, applications, and plugins, after first cloning your system drive, and unlinking your cloud accounts. Read more on backing up and worst case scenarios. Never, ever use programs like CleanMyMac. Be sure to effectively prepare for a clean install by compiling all your accounts, logins, and serial #s in one place beforehand.
7) Batch it: Use droplets and automation apps to improve your workflow with repetitive tasks. Try Alfred, QuicKeys, and Automator. You can even pair your iPad or iPhone as a remote control for workflow sequences.
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