I share 8 tips to help you simplify your digital life as much as possible, so you can focus on what matters.
1. Limit Screen Time
Our brain hasn’t evolved much in the last 50,000 years, from the time when people were still foragers. But even though our brains haven’t changed much, our environment certainly has. The artificial blue light from our screens are everywhere. It’s a big difference from the natural environment of our foraging ancestors. Getting sucked into your phone, letting your files get disorganized, these things can be a constant source of stress for our brain. So take care of your inner cave person by limiting your screen time. Especially the first hour after waking up, and the hour before going to bed, as this can greatly improve your sleep. A big help is to turn down your screen brightness, especially in the morning and the evening. Your eyes will thank you for this one as well.
2. Group Chats
Oh, group chats. Before you know it, you’re in 10 different ones. You get messages all the time, and half of them will probably not interest you much. I’m always very mindful of which group chats I join, because it’s a commitment. You can’t really leave a group chat that easily, without worrying if people will think you don’t like them anymore. And before you know it, you’re stuck. So think twice before joining a group chat and try to gauge whether or not it will add value to your life. Another thing you can do is turn off notifications for all group chats. And if someone else adds you without letting you know, it’s okay to bite the bullet and leave if you don’t really want to be in it.
3. Switch Off Notifications
Which brings me to number three, switch off notifications. Notifications really serve to distract us and keep us from being focussed. There are huge amounts of concentrates that show this. A great way to protect yourself from this, is to turn off notifications. This way you will be in charge of when you want to look at your phone, and when you want to leave it alone for a while.
4. Set Boundaries
Tip number 4 is making sure you set your own rules and boundaries. This will greatly help you to keep your digital life under control. Make a few simple guidelines for yourself, that are easy to stick to and that you won’t forget. For example, I always have at least one moment in the day where I place my phone in another room or in a drawer, and I leave it there for at least an hour. When it’s not within reach, I’m not temped to look at it and see if something came in. If you notice you’re spending more time on your smartphone than you would like to, then watch this Article where I explain how smartphone addiction works and give you ten tips to beat yours.
5. Digital Declutter
Decluttering your home can be amazing and it’s something that a lot of people like to do. And there’s another area that can really benefit from some decluttering, and that’s your digital life. An example can be deleting all apps you haven’t used in the last three months from your phone. Or cleaning up your desktop on your laptop, to keep only the icons you frequently use. I find it especially helpful to delete files regularly and not let them pile up, and create folders for everything from the start. This goes for your phone, laptop, tablet, anything you keep files on. And don’t forget to delete your download folders every once in a while too. Lastly, keep your email organized by unsubscribing from newsletters you don’t want to read anymore. Instead of deleting them every time, take one minute to open the email and click unsubscribe.
6. Mindfull With Social Media
If you do that, your email will get more manageable every time. If you are using multiple social media platforms, decide on which ones you want to keep using. If there’s a platform that’s causing you any negativity in any way, see if you can let it go. Also be mindful of who you’re following. Think about how you feel initially when you see that they post something Does it make you feel happy, inspired, or does it make you feel anxious and inadequate. If it’s at all negative, it might be a good idea to click unfollow.
7. Organize Your Photos
When we take a picture of something, we usually take a couple to make sure we have at least one that comes out right. The part that most people skip however, is deleting all the others. If you have 7 pictures of yourself standing in front of a mountain, keep 1 or 2 and delete the others. If you do that every time, your picture folder will never get disorganized. Go for quality over quantity. You’ll thank yourself later on.
8. Paid Digital Services
Are you using any digital services that you’re paying for? For example storage in the cloud, apps like spotify or netflix, or software licenses. If you are, go over your list and see if you’re actually using these services. If you’re not using them regularly, save yourself the money and cancel your subscription. Simplifying your life can be one of the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done for yourself.