Minimalism: Declutter Your Digital Life

“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfying hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body” ~ George Carlin

Digital working plays a major role in our daily life. Most of the economy is transitioning toward digitalization. There are online marketplaces, digitalized documents and books, music, photography and videography, social networks, personal and official data storing and even virtual currencies – so much more yet to come in the future. All of these are making our life faster, so fast that most of the time the clutters made by using digital technology gets unnoticed.

Digital clutter grows faster than physical ones and creates more distractions and stress also. But the good news is that digital clutter is easier to handle – it’s faster!

There are two major types of digital clutter- 1.Offline and 2.Online. Let’s find out what are they and how to maintain them to avoid cluttering.

Offline

Everything you do on your digital device without internet connection is the offline world of your digital life. Offline clutters happen because of not arranging stored items in the memory. As it centers the memory area, you have active control over it because it is limited (All memory devices come with a limited storing capacity whether it is KB, MB, GB or TB). To have an organized storage (Easy to access everything) for your devices try the followings:

  • Delete, delete and delete. The fastest and most effective way to get rid of digital clutter is to delete the unwanted files. There are lots of files that we rarely or never use or can be recollected easily when in need in the storage of a device. It’s best to delete them. The more you master the art of deleting the less distracted you will be, the less cluttered your digital world will be and as a bonus the device will be faster.
  • Secondary storage. If you are a professional and have lots of files that need to be taken care of trying a secondary storage device like External Hard Disks. They come in many different types based on speed, amount of storage and portability. Go for the one which is best for you.
  • Upgrade devices. It is a never ending change. We will always have better options in the future. It is necessary to stay updated to stay organized. I am not suggesting being a tech-savvy but having a 256GB of MicroSD card is always better than CDs/DVDs even Blueray Disks to store information. Going for a smaller device not only helps to organize digital clutter but also reduces physical clutters also.
  • Cloud storage. This also is a secondary storage option but it has the advantage to free you from carrying a physical device as storage. You can buy and install a hub (like i-cloud) or register for cloud storage apps (like Google-Drive) to get access to your files from anywhere on earth.
  • Organizing Files. Go for making a folder and subfolder tree for different categories of storage. Create an effective tree system that can easily guide you to the file you are long for.
Online

Everything now is online. From shopping to chatting, from reading to writing and from anything to everything is on the internet. The fast and vast access to information sometimes creates a distraction and wastes valuable time. The online trap is tougher than the offline one but not that hard to escape it when you are aware of your actions.

  • “Unsubscribe”, “Unfriend” and “Unfollow”. This is same as every other decluttering- throw away what does not serve you. Unwanted subscriptions of newsletters or updates; 4000 facebook friends where you rarely know more than 200 of them; these all may seem small if you avoid them but they sometimes lead to some major distractions like the following point…
  • No Notifications. When you have a cluttered online life the most annoying thing you will get is notifications. The often comes unpredicted in the middle of something you are working on. More than 70% of online notification does not add value, so, it’s better to hit the “hide notification” button unless it is something important to be updated of.
  • In the inbox. The inbox whether it is SMS or Email (email inboxes have limited storage capacity) often gets filled with updates, advertisements and old emails. Most of us don’t notice the clutter unless we are out of storage. Focusing on this area will save us in emergencies, and it may not be a good reason to clutter the inbox but there is also no good reason to keep junks when you have limited storage.
  • Bookmarks and more. Bookmarking and pinning tab for future and not deleting when it’s not required anymore? – LEH. Keeping cookies and histories and blaming the browser for being slow? – LEH. (P.S. Don’t mind the song was in my mind while writing :D)
  • The “Not Now” button. The most useful button discovered ever. When in doubt go for this – it will save lots of time and energy.

Make a routine of decluttering every week or every month. Trust me it will make your life so much easier.

Let me know what you think about the post. Feel free to ask questions and share your experiences in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.

Happy Decluttering!

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