Digital Declutter

Organise your online world for increased productivity and calm...

We all know that we feel happier and more productive when we take care of our spaces - making sure that they are clean, clear of distraction and well organised. However, we often forget to take as much care of our digital landscapes… 

Decluttering, organising and resetting your storage on your phone and computer frequently has the potential to help you be more productive, feel less stressed and allow you more head space for the now…for what really matters to you. 

In order to get to a space where you can systematically clear your deficient digital data, you may need to do a deep clean and rifle through years upon years of files, folders and accounts that have been lying dormant.

Consider following these tips so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the process… 

  1. Better safe than sorry
    Before ripping the Band Aid right off, take a moment to back everything up on a separate hard drive and online. There are few things that claw at a person more than realising that you have, by mistake, permanently deleted a token of a special memory and will never be able to get it back. 
  2. Joy-oh-metre
    As Marie Kondo suggests, when decluttering your home, try to review your content and ask yourself if it brings you joy. In addition, make sure that the digital content that you keep, which doesn’t necessarily bring you joy, does what you need it to do seamlessly. While having a data security app doesn’t bring me joy, it does make me feel as if my data is optimally protected. 
  3. Categorise content
    While you review your content, it is also good to create a roadmap of where all your folders and files are saved and how they are currently organised. From here, you can create an action plan of how you would like your content to be organised (with naming conventions, etc.) and begin reshuffling it into your ideal organisation system. 
  4. Cut ties with redundant data

All the content that you have not reorganised into your optimal organisation system can now be deleted without worry. 

You may need to follow the above steps a number of times, moving from account to account and device to device, deleting all kinds of data. These can include duplicate images, old contacts, redundant reminders, temporary files and out-dated emails. 

It also includes unsubscribing from content that no longer inspires you (especially on social media and in your email inbox), removing apps that no longer serve your lifestyle or aspirations, archiving chats that render you overwhelmed with messages, and setting screen time limits and sleepy time restrictions. 

The best way to stay organised and make sure that things don’t build up on you is to optimise your devices and set up a recurring reminder. 

When considering optimisation, it is helpful, again, to draw a comparison between your home and your digital space. Do you not feel more motivated to clean your space when you know how good it will look after an hour of simple sorting, vacuuming and dusting? I do! 

Therefore, I make sure that my devices have an aesthetic theme, notification and ringtones that inspire glee rather than dread in me, and have a cute screensaver (with my apps integrated seamlessly into the design). 

After treating myself to a device refurbish, my weekly declutter feels like self-care, rather than a chore, my devices seem less noisy and I feel more mindful of my time and where my attention rests. 

It is safe to say that by pruning back the thorny tendrils of your digital landscape, you will be able, once again, to see the beauty of useful technology, the power of an interconnected world and the benefits of healthy online habits.

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