We talked earlier in our series about the ways in which clutter can go beyond the physical. It’s not just the stockpiling of material things that bogs us down and dims our joy. It’s also digital clutter. This term covers a wide array of areas, from your inbox to your Facebook friends. Almost all of us are spending unnecessary time dealing with the information on our devices. Read on to discover how to minimise your digital clutter.
About Digital Clutter
Digital clutter covers just about everything that’s on your digital devices. Chances are, your email could use some attention. We all get marketing pieces and newsletter subscriptions we wish we’d never signed up for. So, why not take some time to unsubscribe and get rid of incoming mail that’s simply adding to your stress. The files on your computer can also contribute to digital clutter. How many documents and programs do you have on your hard drive that you just don’t need? These things make it harder to find the ones you do need, and they slow your device down. Your cookies, bookmarks, and apps are also cluttering your digital devices. And photos. Let’s not forget those. Another area that falls under digital clutter is social media. Your friends list and games alone could be causing you a great deal of wasted time and stress.
Effects of Digital Clutter
Digital clutter can be a real mess, just as much so as physical clutter. Sorting through emails to find what you need or missing important correspondences due to the sheer number of messages you receive is stressful. Plus, it wastes time. This can be said of most digital clutter. Your productivity takes a plummet, too, when you can’t find what you need, or your computer is slowed down due to an overloaded hard drive. Social media adds another layer to the impact of digital clutter. Do you have “friends” who are energy vampires or who bring you down? Do you get to see the updates of people you truly enjoy? How much of a time suck do you find games and apps to be? It’s probably time to detox your friend list and delete some of your apps.
How to Clean It Up
Digital clutter can be just as overwhelming as the physical kind. Don’t worry. There are ways to clean it up that don’t have to be stressful. Just think of how relaxed you’ll be to get that mind-numbing mess out of your life. For email, create folders such as “important,” “must respond,” and “work related.” Then, drag emails to their proper folder. Unsubscribe from unnecessary newsletters. Be sure to respond immediately to important emails in the future. This will save you tons of time. Take time to go through all the programs and downloads on your devices. Set up folders for the needed documents and delete programs and files you don’t need. Put others on external devices to get them off your main machine. Don’t forget to clean up your bookmarks and desktops, too. Get rid of what no longer serves you. Finally, tackle your social media. Take a ruthless look at your friend list. Unfollow the ones who bring you nothing but frustration or with whom you rarely engage. Unfriend if you feel comfortable doing so. This is your social media experience. You owe no one an explanation.
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clearing out digital clutter, but they’re a start. Be sure to repeat the process every few months in order to keep things under control. Give these suggestions a try, and you’ll see how much better you’ll feel and how much more productive you’ll become.