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Have You Started Taking Steps To Declutter Your Digital World? If Not, There Is No Time Like The Present!
Oxford describes “digital clutter” as remove unnecessary items from (an untidy or overcrowded place).
Digital clutter is a natural by-product of using digital devices to write emails, visit websites, download information, watch videos, listen to music, and communicate with others.
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.
Keep Reading! These tips will help you clean up your online act.
Tip #1: 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.
Tip #2: 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.
Tip # 3: Limit Your Social Profiles
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. Eliminate those that have a high learning curve or that your audience rarely uses.
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 by deep cleaning your lift of followers on social media. 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.
Tip # 4: Decide What Type Of News You Want In Your Social Media Feeds
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.
Tip # 5: 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. Consider hiring a VA to manage that task for you. Set up filters to send certain types of messages straight into folders and remember to check those folders daily.
Tip # 6: 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 action right there by answering the email, putting it in a digital folder, or deleting it. Our post Taming Your Paper Clutter will be a great asset to you.
Tip # 7: Forward Multiple Email Addresses Onto One Inbox.
Instead of checking a business email plus your personal email, forward one of those addresses to the other so you’re only checking one physical location each day. You can still sort and archive these messages and Gmail allows you to respond automatically with the email address used on the original message, so no worries about responding to a business email with your personal email address.
You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s clutter.Louise Smith
Tip # 8: Clear Out The Photos From Your Phone On A Weekly/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.
Tip # 9: Utilize A Password Manager For Your Computer & Phone
With the onslaught of identity theft and cyber security threats, creating unique passwords is even more important these days. However, keeping these passwords safely stored is another problem. Enter the password manager. LastPass has a computer and mobile app for linking your accounts so you can have computer and mobile access wherever you go. No more sticky notes or memos on your phone with all your important information listed for anyone to see.
Tip # 10: Eliminate Any Subscriptions You Don’t Use Or Find Value In
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.
Here Are A Few More Things You Can Do Immediately To Declutter Your Digital Life Without Completely Disconnecting.
- Unplug for weekend
- Create a social media calendar
- Avoid using electronics before bedtime
- Declutter your hard drive
- Learn to delegate tasks to a team member or virtual assistant
- Replace digital activities with real-life activities
- Opt for live conversation versus texting
- Clear out the icons on your desktop screen
- Utilize cloud storage
- Discard any stray electrical cords
- Backup your data regularly
- Re-learn how to be alone
- Live an intentional lifestyle
Take your time going through these steps. 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. Completing these steps sooner than later is better, only because digital clutter will impact your productivity, but don’t feel like you have to complete one task each day.
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?
Download our FREE CRANK IT UP PLANNER and document your progress. Soon you’ll be organized, and you’ll feel the energy in your home or office change from frenetic to calm.