We need to be online so that we’re connected to work 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 otherwise our brains become one with our computers. So here are 16 ways to declutter your digital life now without disconnecting.
You can approach digital decluttering in a few different ways. You can begin slowly by taking a few of these tips below and starting to implement them into your daily life. Or start with one tip then move on to another and another as you complete each one. Or you can take the “cold turkey” approach and unplug from everything, and then only add back digital elements that you truly enjoy back into your life, such as social media platforms or favorite apps.
No matter your approach, take some 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.
Here are 16 things you can do from now to tackle your digital clutter.
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.
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.
Do you REALLY need to be on every platform available? Cut out those that you rarely use. Identify which ones you use for personal fun and those you use for business.
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.
Negative news, political rants, or news that goes against your core beliefs distract and affect your mood. YOU are in complete control of who you allow on your feed so exercise your right to unfollow or unfriend those who add too much negativity.
Gmail makes life easier with their tabs and their labels system, but you still need to implement processes to keep that inbox manageable.
Look at your emails and then decide if you need to: take action, save it, or trash it. Take an action right there by answering the email, putting it in a digital folder to be done at a certain time (put this on your calendar), or deleting it.
How many people do you know who have lost precious photos when they dropped or lost their phones? Back up 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.
Not only do all the extra “shortcuts” slow your computer’s start-up capabilities, but they will also immediately bombard your brain with extraneous images, most of which serve little purpose. Sweep all those icons into a folder to sort through at a later date. Whatever program shortcuts you eliminate, be sure to physically delete that program from your control panel. Now you can start your workday more calmly.
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.
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.
Do you know what to do with yourself if you don’t have your phone or laptop turned on? Place your electronics in another room and keep the door closed for 30 minutes to start. Some people find they get twitchy and anxious without their electronics, not knowing where to devote their attention. Pick up a book; listen to your favorite music; close your eyes and think about your next vacation. Being alone is a good thing.
A common complaint about teens and their obsession with their phones is that they don’t know how to have a real live conversation. Only when you’re face-to-face can you make eye contact or hear the inflection in someone’s voice.
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.
Try cutting down your social media time at night to do something really fun...like learning to play a musical instrument or painting. Socialize with friends or family on the weekends. Turn the laptop off 30 minutes early to go for a walk. You’ll soon start to remember how much pleasure these real-life activities provide and just how much time is wasted on those digital distractions.
When you live with intention, you choose to embrace things that bring you joy, excitement, and happiness. Intention also brings with it focus and attention to the task at hand. Does scrolling through your social media at night while “watching” a show bring you happiness or contentment? Are you benefitting from these distractions? Or do you want to try choosing a quiet meditation, journaling, or simply reading a book instead?
Take your time going through these tips to start decluttering your digital life. There’s no right or wrong way to approach this list; if necessary, close your eyes and point to the tip you want to complete first.
Once you’ve made a dent in these digital tips, convert them to your physical life and start decluttering your home.
Also...I invite you to join me in letting go of what you don't need in your life anymore.
I’ll guide you to declutter in just 10 minutes a day! It's so easy and fun. This challenge will fire you up and help you get rid of all the stuff you don't want anymore AND help you bring in what you do want into your life.
Join me and let go of the things that hold you back!
1:1 Coaching To Declutter
Don't want to declutter in a group? Maybe you have something bigger to let go of…mental or emotional clutter.
I’m offering private coaching sessions to help you declutter whatever you need to in your life.
Work with me 1:1 to reach your declutter goals. Go here and make an appointment with me today. Don't wait.
Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.