One of the things that overwhelms me is clutter. I declutter regularly. My children are even getting in on it too and have reported that they feel so much better after a good declutter and they enjoy their space more.
One are that I struggle with, and you might too, is digital clutter. So I thought I would share some tips on Digital Decluttering so that you can create more bliss and spaciousness in your life!
Things You Can Do Immediately to Declutter your Digital Life Without Completely Disconnecting
We need to be online, so we’re connected with our industry news and social contacts. Yet being online seems to diminish our attention spans and take over our private lives. It’s a common Catch-22 problem that needs to be addressed lest our brains become one with our computers (isn’t this the plot of a sci-fi movie already?).
You can approach this digital decluttering in a few different ways.
To begin slowly, take a few of these tips below and start to implement them into your daily life. Or start with one tip then move on to another one when you feel the first is complete.
Or you can take the “cold turkey” approach and unplug from everything social (with the exception of work) and then add those elements that you truly enjoy back into your life, such as social media or favorite apps.
No matter your approach, take time to evaluate just how distracted you are with your digital clutter and analyze how you can regain some of your free time by eliminating extra work.
Top Tips for Digital Decluttering
Embrace time blocking strategies. Set aside blocks of time for checking emails, social media, and working with clients. You’ll be more productive when focused on just one task at a time.
Turn off notifications. Those chimes are nothing more than distractions that are pulling you away from your work or your family and friends. Whatever is causing the distraction will still be there; just deal with it in your own time frame.
Deep clean your list of followers on social media. Do you know these “friends” in real life? Are they business associates? Have you ever interacted with them online? Be smart with your social followings and unfriend anyone you don’t know. If you’re willing to form a relationship with these people, keep them and start engaging for a set period of time. Without the engagement, you’re basically sharing information (some of it personal) with a bunch of strangers.
Declutter your email. Gmail makes life easier with their tabs and their labels system, but you still need to implement processes to keep that inbox manageable. Set up filters to send certain types of messages straight into folders and remember to check those folders daily.
Implement a “touch it or trash it” system for your email. Look at your emails and then decide if you need to: take action, save it, or trash it. No clicking out of the message and letting it sit in your inbox indefinitely. Take an action right there by answering the email, putting it in a digital folder, or deleting it.
Clear out the photos from your phone on a weekly or monthly basis. How many people do you know who have lost precious photos when they dropped or lost their phones? Backup those photos to the cloud automatically on a regular schedule. Not only will those memories be saved but you’ll also free up enormous amounts of space on your phone.
Unplug for the weekend. Your business will survive, and your body will thank you for the decrease in stimuli. Go one step further and unplug every evening so you can focus on your family, relax with a new hobby, or simply learn how to decompress and enjoy the quiet.
Avoid using electronics before bedtime. Your brain needs time to slow down and decompress, especially after a stressful day. Even on regular days your brain is overloaded with the constant stimuli from your computer and your phone; plus, the blue light rays can affect your sleep patterns, making you feel tired in the morning instead of well-rested. Shut them off at least one hour before bed. Read a book, meditate, or listen to calming music instead.
Set a limit on the number of browser tabs you open. Just because your computer CAN open 25 tabs at once doesn’t mean it should! You’ll likely find your computer working more slowly or even crashing from the strain of having so many browser windows open. Limit yourself to 4-5 tabs to limit distractions and then close them up when your task is complete. If you’re afraid of forgetting the URLs for closed tabs, bookmark them in your browser or save them in a notepad file for later use.
Eliminate any subscriptions you don’t use or find value in anymore. Search through your PayPal account for business-type subscriptions. Some subscriptions you can’t do without – like your web hosting – but no doubt you’ll find others to membership groups that you’ve forgotten about or simply don’t participate in any longer. Just hit that cancel button, with no regrets. If you forgot about a subscription, then it holds no value.
Once you’ve made a dent in these digital tips, convert them to your physical life and start decluttering. Do you have a system for dealing with junk mail or coupons? Are your photos organized in one place? Do you delegate tasks to your family members or outsource to a cleaning service or meal planning service?
Document your progress in a journal or with a close friend. Soon you’ll be organized, and you’ll feel the energy in your home change from frenetic to calm.
Much love and bliss