17 Jan 6 Steps to Digital Decluttering
As we begin the new year, we all have ideas as for how we would like to improve ourselves. Perhaps we would like to learn to manage and use our time more efficiently, or be more productive at work or even just in our daily lives. Perhaps we would like to give ourselves the opportunities to find and release ourselves in activities we truly love.
However, often the most difficult part of bringing about change to our lifestyles is deciding how we can start. That’s where digital decluttering comes in. Think of it as Spring cleaning for your tech! Throwing out junk and sweeping away the cobwebs of past interactions and causes of stress.
Digital decluttering essentially entails organising your technology by clearing it of all the unnecessary documents, emails and other forms of information no longer of any use. We find that digital decluttering is not only the first step towards improving productivity, but also enables us to release ourselves from the stresses and pressures of daily life – by allowing us to concentrate and focus on doing the things we love when we have time off. Here are six steps to help you do just that.
Organise your files
I find that a messy desktop is enough to discourage me and thus limit my productivity before I have even started my work! It is a fairly soothing and mindless activity to tidy your files into navigable folders so they are easily accessible, and the stress relief that comes as a result is well worth the task. Furthermore, try to make it a practice to save files into an organised area as you work.
Manage your inbox
An office worker receives on average 121 emails every day! That’s 600 emails coming into their inbox every working week. Having this much information facing you can be overwhelming and thus hinder productivity. So, clear out your inbox: delete past conversations, unmark those flagged emails you never managed to chase up and unsubscribe from those irrelevant newsletters you never read anyway!
Keep your tech up to date with you
By this, we mean both keeping your devices technically up to date with the latest software and security, as well as keeping it up to date with your lifestyle. Delete applications you no longer use – these just take up both visual and memory space and slow your device. Take back control over your device so that its function is suited to you and your life today.
Turn off unrelated notifications during working hours
There’s no point responding to non urgent personal messages whilst trying to work. Productivity, and the quality of interaction with the person contacting you, both benefit from you concentrating on work and then knowing you can use your well earned break to commit yourself to stress-free social interaction. Trying to do both simultaneously won’t help either.
Avoid online distractions whilst working
A well earned break from work can do wonders for productivity, but too often all we do on our break is check social media or open YouTube whilst still trying to concentrate on a project (the average user checks their smartphone every 12 minutes!), These distractions make it even more difficult for us to resume focus, and almost always leave us feeling even more unproductive and worse about ourselves. (We offer specific advice here if you actually feel that you are addicted to your phone).
Limit your use of technology
The quantity of information being uploaded to social media and the rate at which we are exposed to new content and information can be overwhelming. By choosing to engage in real time face-to-face social interaction, rather than dedicating hours of our day to social media, we’re giving ourselves an emotional breather and decluttering our brains, allowing them to recharge by focussing on the truly enriching and important moments of social interaction. For more help on distancing yourself from your technology, take a look at our upcoming retreats.