Spring is here and there’s no better time than now to declutter your life.
While spring cleaning might immediately bring to mind organization and household chores, there’s something else that occupies a good deal of your “clutter”. Digital clutter. Whether you realize it or not, it stresses you out on a daily basis.
That’s right, whether you’re needlessly storing old files, you’ve created so many reminders that you ignore them on a daily basis or you’ve become a “photo hoarder”, the computer is ground zero for digital clutter.
And this clutter can rob you of your productivity and cause you unnecessary stress. Follow these 5 easy steps to detox and declutter your digital life.
1) ORGANIZE YOUR FILES
Have you become too dependent on your “Documents folder? If you’ve gotten in the habit of saving EVERYTHING to your docs folder, it might be time to cut ties and streamline your folder structure. Follow these great tips for managing your computer files. If you’re lacking storage on your PC, use the built-in search to find files over a certain size (20MB+). Delete any large files you don’t need. This is a great way to free up a lot of space on your PC quickly.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget, you can use popular tools like Evernote to help you organize your files and OneNote to organize your thoughts. Also, if you’re saving company files on a personal device, be sure you’re using a secure file sharing solution.
2) TAKE A 2-WEEK “DETOX” VACATION FROM FACEBOOK
Ah, Facebook. If you’re like a lot of people, you might have a love/hate relationship with the #1 social networking website. Each day, 55 million status updates are made on Facebook.
But few Facebook users publicly share their hardships in life. It’s easy to get sucked into the belief that everyone else has a perfect life. Each time you log in, you’re bombarded with incredible vacations, perfect kids, happy families, sunshine and rainbows rather than the harsh realities of life that actual friends can help with.
The truth is, nobody’s life is perfect. And with more and more studies finding that the more you interact with Facebook, the unhappier you become, before you kick off the summer, take a 2-week detox vacation from Facebook. Take note of your stress level before and after your “vacation”. You might find yourself actually connecting with friends and loved ones more – or even picking up a good book and rekindling your love for reading once again!
3) BACK UP YOUR FACEBOOK DATA
Speaking of Facebook, if you’re like most people, you use Facebook as your digital photo album. You’re sharing the best part of your life on Facebook – your memories, your photos, your updates – what if everything was suddenly lost?
Don’t’ worry, you can back up your Facebook data in 3 just simple steps.
- Step 1) Click the top right of your Facebook page, then choose Settings (in the desktop version, not mobile app)
- Step 2) Click Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data below your general account settings.
- Step 3) Click Start My Archive and back up your data.
4) GET RID OF OLD ONLINE ACCOUNTS
Chances are, you’ve created a handful of email addresses throughout the years. If you’ve abandoned those email accounts at some point (particularly yahoo or AOL), chances are, the account has been compromised. Yahoo in particular, has had their fair share of security breaches in recent years.
While an old compromised email account might not seem like a big deal, your account is connected to people in your network and once compromised, hackers will send out phishing emails to everyone in your network, putting THEIR security at risk.
So do yourself (and those you’re connected to) a favor and terminate your account if you’re no longer using it. To find old accounts you might have forgotten about, search yourself on Google in incognito mode to find out what others see when searching your name – you might be surprised what comes up! Take note of any old accounts and start eliminating them one-by-one.
- Follow these steps to shut down your old Yahoo account.
- Follow these steps to shut down your old AOL account.
- Have another type of account? Want to delete an old social networking account? Follow these steps.
Of course, it’s much easier to manage old accounts when you remember your passwords, right? If you’re tired of memorizing passwords (or you’re guilty of reusing the same password for all your accounts), enlist the help of one of these password tools and say goodbye to annoying password issues!
If you’re still using the same password for every website, you’re putting yourself at risk. Password managers like LastPass or Roboform install on your phone or browser and store login info in a secure place that only you can access. Once you browse on a website, with just the click of a mouse, you can enter your master password and get into any account you own.
5) CLEAN UP YOUR INBOX
The inbox is an infamous cause of stress in our day-to-day lives. From subscriptions to those emails you’ve been meaning to get to for, oh, about a year now, the time to declutter is NOW. For the ultimate inbox decluttering technique, achieve “Inbox Zero”, a method developed by productivity guru Merlin Man to keep your inbox empty or almost empty at all times.
TIP: Enlist the Help of this Cool App
Unroll.me: If you’re overwhelmed with a never-ending barrage of subscriptions and promotions on a regular basis, unroll.me will be your new best friend. Unroll.me makes it easy to unsubscribe from multiple emails at once by providing you with a list of all your subscriptions that you can easily unsubscribe from in just one click.