We have become accustomed to a high level of clutter in our digital lives. We collect and store thousands of unsorted photos on our phones, allow documents to fill up our desktops, and have thousands of emails sitting in our inboxes. This digital clutter is a major contributing factor to the low-grade stress we feel every day. The good news is a digital declutter is much easier to do than a physical one. With a digital declutter, you can declutter at the speed of light through a series of clicks.
The benefits of removing clutter from our homes are well-known. Most of us feel an instant stress reduction when our homes are tidy and in order. And it is the same with our digital life. Digital clutter adds stress to simple tasks. This happens when we find our time being wasted hunting through 1000s of photos to locate the one we wanted or opening and closing multiple documents to find the right version.
Digital clutter also expands to our online lives, where we clutter our day with distractions and overconsumption of information. This clutter creates a background hum of stress and anxiety fuelled by unread messages we must reply to, social media alerts that distract us, scrolling newsfeeds we feel compelled to check, and emails we must respond to. We feel a constant need to do something, and there is no end to the tasks. You answer one email, and there will be five more in your inbox in a few hours. This stress is compounded by alerts on your phone reminding you that there are unread messages in apps waiting for your response. We are drowning in a world that keeps piling on the digital disarray.
The benefits of a digital declutter
When we reduce and declutter our digital life, we remove unnecessary distractions and make more space for new ideas and goals. With less digital clutter and distractions, we worry less. We waste less time looking for things, and we learn to let go of things that we do not need. When our digital life is in order, our minds can relax more and stay focused on the tasks we set each day. By reducing the alerts and distractions, we cut out the things that waste our time, absorbs our energy or distract us from what is important.
Quick digital decluttering tasks you can do today:
Email Inbox Declutter
Delete all unread emails from more than a month ago.
Create a folder for any important emails you must keep.
Delete all read emails that are more than a month old.
The aim is to have an inbox that holds only emails you need to act on or newly arrived emails.
Clear your computer desktop
File all desktop documents into easy to find folders in your documents folder.
Clear out your downloads folder
Sort through all of the items and either file them in the correct folder in your documents folder or delete them.
Remove unused apps from your phone
So often, we download an app for a task and then forget about it. These unnecessary apps fill up your phone and become distractions when trying to find the app you want to use.
Turn off unnecessary notifications from apps and social media accounts
Constant blinking or beeping of alerts distracts and adds the low-grade stress we feel every day. A quick, easy fix is simply turning off all but the most essential alerts and giving yourself a break from the unimportant stuff.
We hope you will feel empowered to take it further clearing out the unnecessary digital clutter and reducing your digital distractions, each day.
“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.”
– Peter Walsh