We’re all familiar with the annual ritual of spring cleaning, but what about all of the junk that piles up in our online lives? Old photos, cluttered desktop screens and endless email notifications can get overwhelming if we don’t take time to manage them. Go on a digital detox and create space on your hard drive (and in your mind) with these 10 simple tips.
1. Clear your computer desktop. Since it’s the first thing you see when you turn on your computer, a clear desktop means a clear mind. Create new folders to organize documents and delete the ones you no longer need.
2. Back up your files and photos to an external drive. Spring is a great time to back up your computer files, precious photos and important programs. Buy an inexpensive external drive from your local electronics store or sign up for a cloud account like Dropbox.
3. Unsubscribe from promotional emails. If you’re like me, you probably receive a ton of emails from lists you don’t even remember subscribing to. In the long run, opening all of these messages burns precious time you could spend on doing the things you love. Click through your emails and unsubscribe from at least 10 lists.
4. Decrease notification settings. It’s already a challenge to put down our phones, but when it’s making sounds every few minutes, things can get pretty unproductive. Remember, your phone is for your convenience only, so limit the amount of the notifications you receive to stay focused on other things.
5. Delete mobile apps you haven’t used lately. Apps are fun, but also take up lots of memory on our phones. Go through all of your applications and delete the ones you haven’t used in a while.
6. Organize your cloud storage. All it takes is a few minutes and a few named folders to get your cloud storage neat and tidy. Sure it may take a bit of time and thought, but you’ll definitely make up for it with increased work productivity.
7. Get rid of old computer files and unused applications. Free up a ton of hard drive space by deleting unnecessary applications, documents, movies, music and photos.
8. Remove contacts from your phone you no longer need. Edit your phone book and you’ll automatically feel more zen.
9. Clean up your social accounts. This could include unfollowing accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, creating Pinterest boards to organize your pins and unliking pages on Facebook you no longer want updates from.
10. Spend less time online. Leave your phone at home on the weekends or disconnect from technology altogether for two hours every night even if it means putting your tech (remote, phone, laptop) in a lockbox. Life is all about balance, so remember to make time for living your life offline too.
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About the writer:
Kat Gaskin is a traveling pineapple-obsessed photographer and graphic designer who lives for sun, salt and sand.