Digital Declutter for 2021
After a year of WFH, study-from-home and, well, pretty-much-everything-from-home, my digital space has become just as important to me as my physical space.
Sometimes we put aside clearing out and looking after our digital space, because it is all held in a handful of small devices. However, whilst it may not be collecting dust – unbacked-up files, weak passwords, and inboxes full of spam can all lead to some very tangible stress! So, before ringing in the new (and hopefully better!) year, I’m taking some time to declutter my digital space – here’s how!
Let’s start with something easy. Are there any apps on your phone that you no longer need? Any apps that distract you more than you enjoy them? Delete them!
Tip: Why not check social media online a few times a week, instead of keeping the app on your phone? This can be a nice middle between FOMO and distraction! And you may be surprised how much the increased barrier of entry reduces the time you spend on the apps.
If your gallery is filled with GIFs from the family WhatsApp group chat, since irrelevant screenshots and, yes, 30 almost-identical retakes of the same group photo, it’s time for a cleanse! Hold onto the photos that make you smile and remind you of great moments, delete the rest.
- Back Up!
Now that you are left with your best memories and your favourite photos, make sure to never lose them! Upload them to your laptop and put them on a hard drive.
Organise your photos into folders, especially if you have photos/screenshots of the likes of documents and recipes.
Tip: If your gallery has more unwanted photos than wanted photos, consider doing it on a save-and-then-delete-the-rest basis, rather than the other way round. Hopefully, this might save you some time!
Tip: Change your WhatsApp settings so you have to actively download photos and videos you receive, so going forward those GIFs never make it to your gallery in the first place!
Whilst our generation may consider a follow-back a curtesy, is that enough of a reason to fill your feed with pictures of acquaintances and mutual friends? Some loose rules to think about when unfollowing: don’t follow anyone because you feel obliged to, don’t follow anyone who’s content brings out negative emotions in you and: if you don’t know their surname, do you really know them!?
- Turn off notifications
Be very selective with what you want to hear from your apps. Personally, I keep notifications reserved for direct messages.
Tip: If you don’t want to send the subliminal messages that may accompany an unfollow or leaving a group chat, you can always mute stories, posts and chats!
Laptop / Computer
- Reset and make them strong!
Don’t let yourself have to learn the hard way!
Do you still need your high-school projects taking up space on your laptop?
Folders like Warwick > Year 2 > Term 1 > Module X are musts!
Tip: Make sure your files are sensibly named so you know what they are without having to click on them and you can find them from the search bar whenever you need to.
Get acquainted with the “Move to spam and unsubscribe” button. Archive any old-but-might-need-in-the-future emails. Delete the rest!
Unsubscribe to any companies that you may have subscribed to unwittingly when trying to buy something online. Whilst it may feel productive to get GS weekly updates, ask yourself if you really read your newsletter subscriptions and unsubscribe accordingly!