February 27, 2020
With the new year came resolutions. And, for many people, this involves decluttering and organizing. People want to declutter their closets, their homes, their garages, and their appointment calendar. But, have you thought about how to declutter your digital life?
There are very few times that I’m far from my phone. It’s on my desk at work. And, it’s on my desk at home. It’s next to me while I watch television at night. And, it charges on the nightstand near my bed. I hear every buzz, beep, ding, and whizz that it makes. And, the notifications are the first thing I check when I wake up in the morning.
Being connected all the time is something I’ve become used to over the years. I no longer think anything about it. But, it’s not always good for me to be constantly bombarded by notifications. When I’m stressed or anxious, it’s just one more thing to manage. So, I have been considering how I can declutter my digital life.
- Unsubscribe from any emails or newsletters that you receive that you never look at. If you haven’t looked at them in months, that probably is not going to change soon.
- Delete any unwanted programs or apps from your computer and your phone. If you don’t use them and don’t plan on using them, there’s no need to keep them there or deal with the notifications.
- Go through the files and photos you have stored. Can you delete some? Do you need 57 photos of your cat? Can you get rid of that invoice you sent last year that’s been paid? If you must keep them, can you load them on a USB stick and put it in your desk drawer?
- Delete emails that you no longer need. Try to get as close to zero as possible. If you got a newsletter six months ago and you have not read it, you don’t need it now. Just delete it.
- Of the programs and apps you need to keep, can you turn off the notifications? Do you need to have a ding on your home page and a count of notifications on the app itself? Can you choose just one of these? Or, better yet, can you turn them all off?
- Can you only check your notifications at certain times of the day? This is hard for me. I check notifications the second I see or hear them which is almost immediately. But, can you pick two or three times a day and leave your phone alone for the rest of the day? If this is difficult for you, try checking them only at the beginning of each hour. So, you can check them at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and so on.
Being able to declutter your digital life isn’t easy but it is worth it. Try taking it in baby steps if it seems too much to handle all at once.