Simplify Your Digital Life

Today I deleted a bunch of apps from my phone and MacBook Air. I took a huge and very drastic step in reducing my digital clutter. I am currently going through all of my digital “stuff” and simplifying. I have apps that I have kept around on my phone and MacBook “just in case” or because I wanted to be more productive or have greater access to content or past projects or files. The truth is, I don’t need most of these apps. They take up space. Not physical space, like extra clothes or clutter, but virtual, emotional, and mental space. They are just one more thing to take up time or think about using.

I am trying an experiment. I am putting all of my non-essential apps outside of folders on the last screen on my iPhone, out of sight but not out of mind. I am not going to use that page unless I find that I use the app for something truly productive and worthwhile. I am not going to use these apps for random bored status checking or whatever other distracting thing I usually turn to in my downtime. If I do find that I legitimately use an app to make my life easier in some way, I will move it back to my main screen to a permanent place on my phone. As I keep the other apps on the last screen, I will slowly delete them until the last page is empty and only essential apps remain.

I am also trying to pare down the amount of email addresses I have. Some are tied to old projects or ideas that I no longer use but the email addresses are tied to accounts and mailing lists. I realize that not only is the email address digital clutter because it adds no value to my life, but many of the memberships or subscriptions I have through that email address also add no value and are creating more digital clutter. So I tagged all the mail sent to this address and either changed the email address for subscriptions and memberships or unsubscribed from the list. After a few weeks I will delete this account and clear some digital clutter.

My challenge today is this: What digital clutter can you delete?

Here are some ideas and suggestions to get you started:

  • Do you spend a lot of time on games/social media or other apps on your smart phone/tablet?
  • Do you have dozens and dozens of copies and backups of files and folders? Could you get away with eliminating any copies?
  • Do you have hundreds of saved bookmarks or articles that will likely never be read?
  • Do you have abandoned blogs, projects or websites that are cluttering your mind and digital life?
  • Do you receive dozens or hundreds of emails every day that only get deleted or waste your time?

If you answered yes, then it’s time to Delete Your Digital Clutter!

Begin by picking one area, perhaps email, and focusing on deleting, purging, unsubscribing and paring down anywhere you can. Decide what truly adds value to your life and trash the rest! Then move on to the next area – your smart phone, tablet, computer, files, social media, etc. Find what adds value and what doesn’t. If anything doesn’t add value, delete it and lighten your digital load. Share your ideas on social media with the hashtag #DigitalDeclutter and ease the burden on your mind, your emotions and your life.

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