The development of technology encourages us to archive everything online, from text messages to digital photo albums. The pandemic just escalates it even more, with most daily routines being done online, increasing our footprints in the digital world. It is not a surprise that there are times when all the emails, social media profiles, online forms, and many other activities online burn us out.
When the day comes, and you feel suffocated with all the technology traces, you might want to consider decluttering some of your digital baggage and living more minimalist, at least in terms of digital.
You might have heard the phrase “less is more,” but digital minimalism is much more than having as little digital presence and archive as possible, given that it’s pretty impossible to do in this era. It’s more about utilizing what you already have and making sure you only keep what’s the most important for you. In short, it’s all about intention and priorities., knowing what you need and what could be discarded.
It has a similar principle with cleaning your wardrobe. Instead of trying to declutter as much clothing as possible, you asked yourself which one is the most valuable for you to keep.
Start With Your Computer
You use computers daily, from working on your papers to connecting with other people through an online meeting. In order to make yourself less distracted and more productive, it’s essential to utilize everything.
The first step is to clean your desktop of unimportant files. When you’re turning on your computer, the desktop is the first screen you’re going to see. Now, let’s imagine if you are greeted with a messy workspace first thing in the morning. It would make you less motivated to work, right? That’s the same case for desktops. Cleaning up all the unimportant shortcut and set a clean yet refreshing background would help you feel better.
The next step would be clearing out your computer from programs you no longer use and select files you want to keep in as few folders as possible. You might also want to consider moving your files to the cloud so you can have more free spaces on your computer.
Smarter Use of Smartphones
Like your computer, you could start by sweeping clean all the files or applications you no longer use. Videos, games, and social media typically take a lot of memory into your phone. It would give you more space to store more important things.
With everything being conducted online, it’s pretty much impossible to escape the phone and mails completely. However, you could be more thoughtful about it by setting your phone on do-not-disturb mode and hiding the notifications you see daily. It would keep you from the burnout caused by texts and emails on ungodly hours, which often keep you from resting. After all, you would be far more productive when you’re well-rested and in the best state of mind.
Another tip, you might want to stop downloading everything to your phone and start to access it online instead. For example, you can stream your favorite TV show once you are about to watch it instead of setting it to be downloaded for later.
Keep Your Inbox Clean!
We already know that limit your responses the chats and emails during ungodly hours is one form of decluttering. However, it wouldn’t stop the mails from piling up.
For example, we use emails for various occasions. We apply for jobs using email. We use emails to get in contact with our co-workers or even lecturers. We also frequently email our email to apply for webinars, subscribe to our favorite blogs’ newsletter, or even register to new social media platforms. So having a crowded inbox is somehow inevitable, especially in the middle of a pandemic where all our daily activities are informed either through email or messaging applications.
Some people might just decide to accept the fact and live with it. While for some people, the crowded inbox seems to be overwhelming. There are two options to keep your inbox clean. One is by ruthlessly cleaning all your inbox occasionally and risking having some of your essential files accidentally deleted in the process. The second one is by having different emails for all other occasions. This way, your primary email would only consist of your most critical daily contacts, and you wouldn’t miss any important notifications. You might also want to consider unsubscribing the newsletters that are no longer relevant to you.
It’s nearly impossible to detach ourselves from the digital world. So it’s really up to us to make our life less overwhelming. Being a digital minimalist doesn’t mean we’re throwing away everything, but it’s more about being more thoughtful about utilizing our digital and online presence. So now, take a look at your desktop and phone. Do you think it’s time for some cleaning up session?
Written by Jasmine Raihana
Infovore Secret. 20 Digital Minimalism Tips to Start Your Digital Minimalism Journey Now!. https://infovoresecrets.com/digital-minimalism/top-tips/ [accessed September 17th 2021]
Lifehack. 10 Digital Decluttering Projects You Need to Do. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/10-digital-decluttering-projects-you-need.html [accessed September 17th 2021]
Start It Up. Digital Minimalism: How to Simplify Your Online Life. https://medium.com/swlh/digital-minimalism-how-to-simplify-your-online-life-76b54838a877 [accessed September 17th 2021]