4 Ways to Reduce Online Clutter & Get Your Time Back

Time is precious. Here we are at the starting point of the second month of the year. January put everyone as a collective through an emotional roller coaster ride. So it is fitting that at this time we do a little personal checking-in on ourselves and why not, on one another. Here is your reminder that when times get rough, give yourself a much deserved time out. Even if it means taking a walk, stepping away from your home, office space or just taking a few breaths. That in itself is a way of taking your power back. It’s important because if you don’t carve out those moments for yourself, they likely won’t happen on their own. Since the year has started with an influx of heavy news headlines, it’s a good time to assess and even curate how you receive information. Do you have a practice that helps you to filter out the excess noise from the media, social networking and beyond? It’s important to learn what are your triggers and tolerance level. I mean this past January alone there was just about every harsh, devastating and heart-wrenching headline imaginable.

In this post, I want to share small tidbits and suggestions of what can help bring down the volume of so much incoming information. I’ve tried them all so I can say the limitations do help in a variety of ways.

  1. DECLUTTER your emails – Are you subscribed to excessive news sites, unnecessary shopping pages or outdated marketing sites etc. Take inventory of where your emails are coming from and decide if the distraction in your inbox is absolutely needed. Take charge of what trickles into your emails because this is where our attention goes daily. If you don’t want to delete certain emails, create folders to help you archive and sort what you need to keep. This can help streamline your immediate inbox view. The point is to eliminate the sense of “overwhelming data”.
  2. DELETE APPS – The majority of us are glued to our phones for personal and/or business reasons. So just like with the emails, declutter the applications on your phone. Just like cleaning out a closet, if you haven’t touched the app in a long time (I say 6+months), DELETE it.
  3. REDUCE Screen time. Yup! This is a big one for a lot of people. We are all constantly glued to our screens but is it always productive or useful? iPhone users now have analytics that provides the amount of time you have been using your phone daily. There are even features that can help schedule time away from the screen or you can set time limits on certain apps. Try sorting through your settings and see what you can do to reduce the temptation of just mindlessly navigating through your smartphone. Heck, if you have to power down the device and stick in a drawer for an hour or two, go for it! Start small and build on the tech ‘down time’.
  4. SOCIAL MEDIA SABBATICAL! Sounds dramatic and just the idea might create even more stress to some. But believe me, there is something so empowering when you decide to take a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter vacation. It could be as short term or long term as you decide but the end result will be grand. Give yourself, wait, no… GIFT yourself your time back. When you make the choice to be in the moment without staring at a device just imagine all you could do. Believe me, you will gain new insights, maybe start new projects, engage in new conversations or just take yourself on a nice walk around your neighborhood. Put any or all of these to practice and you will see how small changes will allow you to feel more empowered in a small or big way. Even if you save just a few minutes, this in turn could grow and change into more valuable time.¬† I challenge you to start NOW.

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash