We live on a whirling, rushing, floating spherical object in God knows. Things are fast paced as it is. But technology has upped the game. Moving faster than ever our stress levels have increased alongside technology’s rise to fame.
So, what are some ways we can align our minimalistic ideals to our digital life? The majority of us have already gone paperless. If you haven’t then definitely do so now. But, what’s next?
DECLUTTER YOUR DIGITAL LIFE
Digital clutter piles up in hard to find, odd spaces. You may not even realise the files you’ve collected over time. On the outside, it appears calm and organised. But open up your folders and out will spill giant amounts of random files and photos.
We are going to cover the following areas:
- Laptop or PC
- Mobile phone
- Social media
I have written a step by step sure fire way to have an organised and low stress digital life. So without further delay. Here are the steps.
LAPTOP / PC
I CLEAR YOUR DESKTOP
Remove everything from your desktop. Konmari Style. Place all files into your Documents folder in your Finder (Mac) or Windows Explorer (PC).
II UTILISE FOLDERS
Now categorise your files. Here is my own personal set up.
- Métier (Business)
Sub-categories for every main folder makes your digital life even simpler. Some other categorise to consider include media (books, movies, music, photos) and projects (work, personal, university). But, everyone is different. So focus on what works for you.
III CULL FILES
Files are organised into their designated folders. Now is the perfect time to sort through each category. Decide if a file is beneficial, essential or should be trashed. Remember not to impulsively delete important legal documents such as tax related files.
IV DELETE YOUR DOWNLOADS
These are pesky files that build up. The countless images you’ve collected will surprise you. Sort through them and see if there’s anything worth placing into your documents folder. If not, bin it.
Unsubscribe from all the mailing lists that are just trying to sell you something or don’t bring you benefits that align with your values.
VI INBOX ZERO
If you’ve never heard of inbox zero then it’s exactly how it sounds. Dedicate time to go through your emails. Jot down any information such as order numbers or receipt to a separate place (e.g. Bullet Journal or Logbook). Don’t forget to declutter your spam folder and sent items. The goal is, you guessed it, zero emails.
Go through your computer applications and you’ll be shocked to find so many apps that are worthless to you. Bin any that aren’t being used, including pre-installed applications.
Your dock on Mac or task bar on your PC should be a space for everyday apps only. This is what my own dock looks like in its prime. Finder, iPhotos, Firefox, Emails and OneNote.
Declutter your bookmarks within your internet browser. Chrome has a bookmark manager system that I’ve heard great things about. I use Firefox so I manually sort through my bookmarks from time to time.
X IMAGE CLEAN UP
This is an extremely tough one for many of us. Photos can be largely sentimental. I suggest tackling this one slowly. Be sure not to overwhelm yourself. Start with 50-150 photos and then repeat each day. Continue to declutter until your happy with the result.
XI BACK UP FILES
Some files are necessary for your records but aren’t required on a regular basis. This may include tax documents or scanned certificates. You can move these as well as other important documents onto a hard drive as well as the cloud.
XII EMPTY TRASH
Empty your trash. Oo, how are you feeling? Euphoric? Relieved? Me too.
Praised was the day Apple allowed us to delete pre-installed apps. Though there are still a few that won’t budge (I’m patiently waiting). But for now, delete the apps you don’t use and can delete. Those you cannot delete, place them into a folder and
throw it in the ocean keep it out of sight.
Layout preferences are different for each of us. So dance around a bit and decide for yourself. Personally, I keep essential and everyday apps on my home page in colour order. Then I categorise all other apps into folders on my second page.
“Who on Earth is Gunther? Was I on the set of F.R.I.E.N.D.S?” I ask myself as I scroll through my contacts. You don’t need to have the phone number of that girl who use to pull your hair in primary school. Declutter and delete.
Most of them can go. I only keep message threads with my Mum and a couple of friends. Sometimes, I delete every single thread. Guess what? I don’t die.
Again, that random girl from primary school. The people who make you feel bad about yourself. Anyone that isn’t a friend. I know Facebook is the land of 3,000 friends or you’re a loser. But, I don’t care. I chose to declutter my FB friends to 60 and couldn’t be happier.
II UNFOLLOW AND UNSUBSCRIBE
Twitter, the gram, YouTube and Pinterest. The list goes on. Go through all your social media accounts. Deactivate. Delete. Unfollow. Unsubscribe. Anything that doesn’t align with your values or style. Let it go. The drama accounts and alike.
HAVE A DANCE PARTY
Wowee, you’re all done! You managed to declutter your digital life. By now, you’re probably exhausted. Make yourself a hot chocolate, have a bath and wear a face mask. Relax. Unwind. Keep that light, happy feeling with you.
Over to you. How did this make you feel? Was it easy? Hard? Impossible? Let’s chat below.
Photographers | Adrian Sava | Andrew Neel | Jakob Owens
Alex Holyoake | Jacob Ufkes