Digital clutter is something that needs to be managed and decluttered. We will talk about what this actually entails, how you can manage it on your devices as well as the internet browser you use, and ways in which to keep a minimal life with less distractions.
When one decides they want live an environmentally conscious lifestyle, many people focus primarily on physical aspects- like waste reduction or sustainable living spaces. However there are also effects of our online presence! In this article we'll discuss exactly what constitutes digital clutter so its easier for all readers to understand just why it's important and why you should regularly declutter your digital life.
If you're looking to declutter your life both online and offline, this article is just what you need! There are a number of ways that will help save time for the things that matter most. We'll touch base on many here. Be sure not to miss out on these important tips before it's too late!
What is Digital Clutter?
This is the accumulation of information on the internet and our devices. In a world of instant gratification, it is inevitable. But it's not all bad; taking time to delete the apps you don't use and unsubscribe from those annoying emails can give your computer or phone more space for new memories.
In this modern age, every second counts when trying to keep up with everything that’s happening in our lives – but do we need another notification? It could be notifications on social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or Instagram DMs about how many likes there are at any given moment-when these numbers have no connection whatsoever yet still steal valuable seconds away from us meditating over an important life decision! The internet has become so much easier than ever before because people now interact using their phones rather than fax
Electronic clutter is a problem for many people and the more time we spend online, the more we accumulate. I think that's why it helps me to scale back on my screen use in order to make way for other things! It can also be helpful just taking breaks from technology throughout your day as well.
What is the Digital Clutter Count?
This is a way of measuring how much information you have on your devices and internet browser. Think about all those sites that are taking up space when you know they’re not necessary, or emails that you don’t need to be spending time with. Think about the apps on your phone that you never use or the files on the desktop of your computer.
The more you minimize the amount, the less time wasted on activities that are not necessary and will lead to a sense of peace.
What are some of the physical aspects that can be minimized?
In order to help you declutter your digital life, you can start by cleaning up your devices. Tasks such as getting rid of old emails and files on your computer so it doesn't run slow or crash; using a good password manager to create a master file, which you can access from any device; and regularly backing up your computer to an external hard drive or cloud server, which will protect against data loss in the case of a virus attack are all ways to declutter your digital life.
Effects of Digital Clutter
Electronic clutter can be a real pain, 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 overwhelming. Plus, it wastes time and energy! 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.
Streamlining your inbox and de-cluttering it will make you feel so much more at ease. Giving yourself a set amount of time every day or week to go through emails can help reduce stress, as well. Plus, with fewer messages in your inbox, chances are that you will have more free time.
Social media can be a helpful tool in maintaining relationships, but it also has the potential to add digital clutter and drain your energy. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media or if people are bringing you down rather than lifting up your spirit, consider detoxing your friends list (i.e., unfriend those who don't make you feel good) as well as deleting some apps that may just cause unnecessary stress on top of other things going on in life—especially given how much time we spend online these days!
Some people may not be ready to give up their social media or mobile phone apps, but they can at least take the following steps:
- Limit your time on social media and turn off notifications for those specific apps. This will reduce distractions when you are working on other tasks.
- Add a pause button that gives you five minutes with no digital interaction.
- Delete all social media apps from your phone to see how much time you spend on them.
- Schedule a tech break for the same day and time every week so that if you get lost in digital distractions, there is something planned to help with balance. This way we are not letting our phones control us!
How to Clean It Up
Digital clutter can be just as overwhelming as the physical kind. Unless you’re diligent about keeping up with it, your email inbox and social media feeds will stack high in a way that makes everything difficult to find or remember what was said. Don't worry – there are ways to make getting rid of it less stressful than cleaning out an entire closet!
Everyone has their own tricks for managing email. One idea is to create folders such as “important,” “must respond,” and “work related.” Drag emails you want in the future into one of these categories so that they are easier to find later on. Another good tip is unsubscribe from newsletters or social media feeds that have nothing new posted since last week. If an important email comes through do your best to answer it right away so there's no need for follow-up questions later!
This is a great time to go through all the programs and downloads on your devices. Set up folders for the needed documents and delete programs you don’t need. Why keep them when they're just taking up space? There are so many free storage options out there these days that will allow you to store all those things in the ‘cloud'. Put others, like software updates or files that you need but don't open regularly, onto external storage gadgets.
On your computer, run a disk cleanup to remove files that you can't see, remove temporary files, and delete old backups. Depending on how much you use your computer, you may want to do this once a month or once a week.
It's time to get rid of your old bookmarks and desktop files, too! I don't like having any files on my computer desktop. If they're not on the taskbar, I can't find them. I only keep the programs and files I use regularly there. The more you have of these things taking up space, the less room there is for new things to come in!
Funny story: I was looking through my browser history the other day. You know how they say it can tell you about someone by what sites are in their browser history? It looked like three people used this thing for everything from homework assignments to quick sketches over ten+ years because there were folders named “Hobbies” and “Miscellaneous.” And don't even mention that one AOL email account which still has every single spam message ever sent since 2005 – forget cleaning up those internet traces.
Finally, tackle your social media. Keeping your social media feeds clean is just as important as keeping a physical space tidy. Get rid of the people in your friend list who are no longer active on social media or that don't bring anything new into your feed by following them. You owe nothing to these types of connections so un-following should feel therapeutic rather than rude!
Ditch the Digital Clutter Now!
I've gone through my phone and computer files and am proud to say that I've cut mine down by about 30%! I'm working on cutting it down even more as I sort through my email accounts and subscriptions.
I've also come up with a plan for my day so I'm not as tempted to scroll mindlessly.
It includes blocking off time in the morning and evening where I don't allow myself access to social media or email, but instead will do something productive like read or work on my blog or projects. While I'm not a fan of setting hard-and-fast rules here like “no phone after dinner”, I do think we need technology breaks. What strategy do you use to manage yours?
These tips are just a small part of the digital clutter-clearing iceberg. Keep your process going every few months to keep things in order and you'll see how much better you feel, more productive, and happier!
One more thing: If you're looking for a clutter-free solution in other areas, we have some great solutions. Check out our blog posts about minimizing and decluttering everything from your household to your finances.