Declutter your digital life

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Personal Development, Stress Management | 4 comments

Is your inbox out of control? Does Facebook steal hours of your life? Is your head naturally tilted downward from looking at your phone?

Yeah, me too.

Fortunately I recently had the opportunity to revisit a topic I’ve written about before when I was invited to facilitate a Lunch n’ Learn on decluttering your digital life. And it was a topic I needed to revisit.

It’s time to declutter if you want to do more of what you love and less of things you don’t.

If you’re in need of decluttering, you’ve come to the right place! How do you know you need a digital clearing? Well, if you want to do more of what you love and less of everything else, you may need to declutter. Read on, my friend, read on.

Our lives are run by our devices. Most of us spend more than 5 non-work hours per day staring at digital devices. Hey, I resemble that remark! Errr……

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a meaningful and fulfilled life and, well, that’s not typically what’s happening when I’m engrossed with a screen. I want to spend my time focusing on things that add value to my life. I want to do more of what’s important and enjoyable, and less of everything else.

There’s just one question I ask myself, “what value is this adding to my life?”

Common digital distractions include:

  • email subscriptions
  • Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram
  • videos
  • shopping online
  • online games
  • political websites
  • snark websites

All of these activities can be amusing or entertaining in the short term but are ultimately distractions and take time away from more important things in the long term. Important things like quality time with family and friends, being mindful and present in the moment, getting a good night’s sleep, and living a life you love.

Take a moment and consider what areas of your digital life may need to be addressed. There’s just one question to ask yourself, “what value is this adding to my life?”

Now that you know where you need to declutter, the question is how. (And the answer is below!)

 

declutter your digital life

Unsubscribe

Is that email subscription adding value to your life? If not, unsubscribe! There’s an easy way to do it, too. Use unroll.me to unsubscribe from lists en masse. Easy peasy!

Use Filters

Love your coupons? Use filters in your email to send all your marketing subscriptions to a folder where you can find the coupons when you need them without having all those emails clogging up your inbox.

Be anti-social (media)

Choose 2-3 social media sites that are your favorite and stick with those. You can’t be everything to everyone and you can’t be on every social media site and still do all the other things you’d like to do with your life.

Use a scheduler

If you have to be on social media for business, use a social media scheduler such as Hootsuite to easily manage and schedule updates on your various accounts in one place. You don’t actually need to be on social media all day every day.

Unlike, unfollow, and hide

Facebook is fun, isn’t it? Until it’s not. Unlike pages you don’t enjoy following. Unfollow people that post racist drivel. Hide posts you don’t want to see like quizzes, and articles from pseudo-news sites such as Huffington Post or fluff sites like BuzzFeed.

Adjust your notifications

And while we’re on the subject of Facebook, turn off notifications from games, email notifications, and yes, you can even turn off notifications for specific posts. Because, really, when my friend’s dog dies I don’t need Facebook alerting me every time someone offers condolences.

Turn off auto play

A great way to limit your video time is to turn off auto play on Facebook and Twitter, and YouTube.

Go distraction free

You’ve got work to do, or possibly even life to enjoy, and the digital onslaught just keeps coming. Did you know there are apps that block social media and other digital distractions so you can get some work done? These apps allow you to set times to restrict sites so you’re not so tempted to watch 45 minutes of kitten videos every afternoon.

Set an alarm

An alternative to using a distraction free app is to set a timer to limit your time on social media, or set an alarm to remind you to turn off all digital devices as you’re winding down for the evening.  Setting a bedtime alarm is helpful if you end up getting to bed too late due to digital distractions.

Avoid digital in bed

The bright blue hues of digital devices disrupt sleeping patterns. It’s best to avoid digital devices in bed, but if you must keep your device nearby, there are a variety of apps that change the screen color to be less disruptive to your sleeping patterns.

That said, please do consider keeping your digital device away from your bed lest you be tempted to check your email when you wake up at 1:02 a.m. That’s never a good thing. Trust me, I know.

Make it a game

When you’re out for dinner, having dinner at home, or some other social activity, start a game with your family and friends- the first person to check his/her phone in a social setting has to pick up the tab for the next dinner.

Decide what you want to do instead

Decide what you’re going to do with all that extra time! Actively choosing how you spend your time and energy will improve your quality of life, reduce overwhelm, and it will make it easier not to get sucked back into digital distractions.

Some of the Lunch n’ Learn participants are using their extra time to journal, spend time with family, and go for a walk. What do you choose to do?

If you want to create more positive habits that support your success, join me over on Facebook for a Declutter Your Digital Life Challenge!

4 Comments

  1. Great advice! I always forget to shut off notifications on FB until I get inundated. I know I should shut them off my phone, but some habits are hard to break, right?

    • I needed to many of these reminders myself. I’ve let my digital devices get out of hand!

      Glad you found it helpful, too! Get your life back!

      Have a great day!

      Chrysta

  2. Good tips! It can be overwhelming to try to keep up with it all. Started following you in Bloglovin.

    • Hi Lori,

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, it gets out of hand so quickly.

      And thanks for the follow! Have a wonderful day!

      Chrysta

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