How to Clean Up Your Digital Life
Minimalism, marked by clarity and purpose, is intentionally promoting the things we most value and removing the things that distract us from it. By cutting out the clutter and excess in our lives, minimalism provides the freedom to pause, to make deliberate, thoughtful choices, and to live our lives in ways that feel true and good to us.
The idea of digital minimalism embraces the same philosophy: to be intentional with our use of technology. Take the time to question whether a particular piece of technology – email, social media, internet browsing, phone – is adding or removing value to your life.
Now is a great time to simplify your online life and start building a better and healthier relationship with technology. Here’s where you can start:
1. Use your computer mindfully
Remove anything that is not adding value and double down on what you use on a regular basis. Clear your desktop, choose a clean wallpaper, uninstall old programs, and install overdue updates. And when you can, work in full-screen mode to block out distractions.
2. Simplify files
Files can easily turn into digital junk over time. Delete all files you don’t need, make your content searchable by organizing and labeling your files, use fewer folders, and upload less urgent files to the cloud.
3. Create a better phone experience
We spend so much time on our phones, so don’t make it a stressful place to be. Remove all apps you aren’t using, clean up your contacts, turn of unnecessary notifications, and use do not disturb after working hours so you can relax.
4. Take control of your emails
Email fatigue is curable. Treat email as a to-do and schedule times to check it to avoid constant distractions. Turn off notifications, close the window when you aren’t using it, unsubscribe from any emails you don’t need or want, and be succinct and assertive with your replies.
5. Browse with intention
The internet is the biggest monster of them all, but browsing with intention is key. Start by tracking your web browsing to learn what your time wasters are. Then remove bookmarks you don’t use, delete or deactivate social media accounts you don’t need, or just unfollow/unfriend accounts that don’t add value to your life.
Digital minimalism is a process. It’s not something that you do, it’s something that you are. Become a better gatekeeper of what you allow in your digital life by constantly purging anything that doesn’t add value to your life.