This article was published on Women Love Tech
Spring has sprung and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’m very glad winter and the woes of the last few months are behind us. It’s time for new beginnings – for hitting the refresh button.
Right now you might be opening the doors and windows and letting the sunlight and fresh air back into your living space. We should do the same with our digital space.
Here are 5 things you can do this month to spring clean your digital space:
Take Control of Your Inbox
Don’t take your overflowing Inbox into the next season.
- Get comfortable with the Delete button – there is absolutely no point in saving old social media notifications or Woolies weekly specials from 18 months ago. It is safe to get rid of them.
- Unsubscribe from all those promotional emails that are clogging up your inbox. You can do this manually or using an app like Unroll.me
- Pick a date in the past and Archive everything prior to that date. If you haven’t dealt with it in 6 months really… are you ever going to?? You can still find the email through the Search function but it frees up the visible clutter which causes overwhelm.
Now that you have a fresh Inbox – avoid double-handling emails going forward. Schedule times check them throughout the day when you are able to deal with them: Read, Action – either Reply, Add to your To Do List, Delegate or File to Action Later – or Delete.
A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
Is your Desktop a jumbled mess of icons? Take some time to delete or file these away.
- Decide on one storage system and stick to it. You don’t need Dropbox AND Google Drive AND OneDrive AND icloud.
- Make friends with folders and set them up to represent the “departments” of your life/business/job.
- Storage costs money – you are probably paying through to store files that you don’t need to. Do you really need six versions of that presentation you did in 2015? Archive the final version and delete the rest.
Marie Kondo Your Phone
- What’s taking up valuable space on your phone? Right now I’m thinking travel apps aren’t getting a hell of a lot of use. Are you using more than one app to do the same thing in your life? Do a cull of the apps that you are no longer using.
- Move apps around – this will reset your habits. Put your most important and frequently used apps on your homescreen.
- Here’s a great productivity hack: Move your social media apps off the home screen and replace them with a reading app (my personal favourite is Pocket). When you start to do the mindless scroll your thumb will default to the spot where your socials used to be and will land on a place where you have curated content that you actually want to read.
- If you are really ready to revolutionise your digital habits – remove your work emails from your phone. Watch the impact that has on your life!
Clean Up & Colour Code Your Calendar
Implementing a structure for your day/week/month that works for you is essential to achieve your work and personal goals. Schedule your priorities in your calendar first then everything else gets slotted in around that.
- Colour code the different areas of your life and business and block in time for them. We are all guilty of neglecting important aspects of our life (exercise anyone??) but if we schedule it in then you are giving yourself a better chance of making it happen.
- Batch together like tasks – it’s inefficient to jump from one type of work to another. For example I do all of my personal admin on a Friday morning which then segues into business admin. I don’t dip in and out of it throughout the week.
- Delete the recurring appointments that are no longer happening and set up new ones.
Stop the $$ Leak
Now is the perfect time to scrutinise your subscriptions. We all sign up for a free trial and then forget to cancel when the trial period ends.
- Run through your credit card statement and cancel or downgrade them. I had a client catch over $1,400 in savings just from subscriptions that she was on too high a price plan.
- Review the services you are using – could you get a better deal somewhere else?
- Diarise renewal dates so that you are prepared and don’t end up paying for what you no longer use.
By clearing the digital clutter from our lives we are making space for new ways of being, for new ideas, new people, new patterns and habits. Good luck!