Taking the time to declutter is a really important aspect to consider putting on our schedule on a consistent basis. This helps us to take out clutter that affects our productivity and mental clarity as well as saves us time to do the more important work we have on our schedule. Going through the process of decluttering will also allow us time for self-reflection, reflecting on what is important for us at the moment and letting go of the rest to give us the space that we need.
So here are some digital areas that are often neglected but do need consistent decluttering.
Your Social Media
Your Download File
As many of us have started a new semester or work this September, taking the time before we get overloaded with work to declutter and take out distractions will help us keep organized, focused, and productive.
Here are some tips to consider when decluttering these three areas:
Declutter your Phone
We use our phone maybe more than we should. It is constantly on our side making it the most used device and therefore perhaps the most cluttered digital area with apps, tabs, notifications, messages, photos, and overall distractions that can knowingly or unknowingly cause us a headache.
So find the time to declutter your phone on a consistent basis, here are some tips to do so:
Delete apps you no longer need or use. Consider deleting apps that have the same function, apps you don’t need to access on your phone, apps you never opened after downloading it, apps that cause you distractions, etc. This will ensure you have space and also helps you focus on apps that matter to you at the moment (for example a language learning app).
Reorganize your apps’ structure in a way that makes sense to you. If you have an app that makes you procrastinate, put it far away so it's harder to reach each time. You can organize your apps by use, type, or any structure that works for you. This ensures you have a clean, organized layout on your phone that makes you happy and a little bit more structured, helping you stay focused.
Delete your voicemail and messages that you don't need to have. Such as those voicemails and messages asking you to pay your bills or promoting you something etc, to give you space on your phone but also can make you come across old messages from loved ones that can uplift your mood, and remind you to send them a message if you have not done so in a long while.
Clear your to-do list and notes section. The notes and to-do list apps are some of my most used apps, and therefore clutter can accumulate there with an overdue to-do list, and random notes that I no longer need to have (ie shopping list, etc). So make sure to delete them and give space for new notes, doing this will also help you review important notes you have taken that you might have forgotten about.
Close down all open tabs. For me personally, I do tend to have a lot of open tabs, as when I come across something, I research it, and make a note to read it later, but never actually do, so I end up with a lot of open tabs on my phone search engine. Take the time once in a while to review these open tabs, fulfill the tasks for it, and make sure to close it after, helping you start with a clean slate.
Sort through your photos and delete obvious non-keepers. Photos are a big project in itself to declutter and organize, but to make it manageable make it a consistent habit to review photos on your phone and delete obvious non-keepers, as well as turning off default save to camera roll if you are in a lot of groups (in Whatsapp, etc) to avoid having every picture shared end up in your photos.
Clear your notifications, as well as take the time to turn off notifications for anything that is not important to you. Try to keep as minimal notification as possible to keep focused and eliminate a cluttered notification field.
Declutter your Social Media Followings
We tend to spend a lot of time on social media. And we tend to add followers each time we come across an account that inspires us in some shape or form, that in the end we don't really see the content of the accounts that really matters to us.
So take some time once in a while to go through the accounts you follow and unfollow the accounts that no longer inspire you or no longer serve your interest, unfollow accounts no longer active...and really reflect upon what kind of content you want to see in your feed, and open up space for the ones that are really important to you.
Organize your Download Folder
As school is starting, our download folder can quickly overfill with files - lecture slides, readings, reports, similarly with our work...and therefore it's important to set up folders to organize them all.
I usually set up folders for the different courses I am taking and in each organize subfolders by week, where each of the weekly lecture contents I put them in their respective week. Naming them with the week and the title of the lecture so I can easily reference it again when I am looking for that content.
Another tool I am using for school and business is my remarkable tablet, for my notes and reading, so I make sure to also set up my folders there so that as the semester goes on, I don't have a big mess of files that I don't know where they belong to.
So the important thing to remember here is placing your files in appropriate folders as well as naming them right away with a naming convention that you decide so that you can easily find them later, and delete the ones you no longer need to have, giving you space, as well saving you time.
These are some of the digital areas we should focus on to declutter often, do you have other tips that I missed that are important to help us declutter these three areas? Let me know :)
Featured Tool - Remarkable
Remarkable Tablet is one of my most cherished investments and I always recommend it to others when I can. It is a “paper tablet” that replaces all your notebooks and printed documents into one. Its a tablet made for people who still have the need to write on paper like me, but need some sort of leverage to stay minimal and organized with all the different notebooks and files that we can accumulate over the months and years.
This tablet has allowed me to organize all my notes and readings in one place in a structured manner, as well as lightened my backpack with fewer books to carry, while still enjoying the feel of writing in the paper.
Highly recommend if this is something you need to have as part of your tool to keep organized.
I am thinking to set up an affiliate shop on my website with products that I use that help me stay digitally organized to give you some ideas of products that might help you as well. Is this something you would be interested in? And do you have any tips for starting one? Would love to get your input!
Quote of the Season
Simplicity involves unburdening your life and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high-quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.
- Linda Breen Pierce, 1947
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