Digital declutter and detox

On top of decluttering my home I decided to tidy up my e-life. I was very disorganised online and spent the weekend writing a massive list of all my social media handles, accounts, emails etc. It alone became a very messy list. One thing that really bugged me was I had different user names or handles for my social media accounts and this inconsistency was stressing me out! Below is what I tidied up in my digital life.

EMAIL

When I started this project I had five email accounts! One for work and four personal ones.

Work – I had some personal emails get sent to my work email so step one was updating that to keep work and personal life completely separate. Any important work emails I archived. Anything more than 12 months old was deleted from both ‘sent’ and ‘inbox’ files. Make sure you can delete them as some employers may have policies against this. I deleted thousands and go figure my email loaded a bit quicker as a result.

Personal – Any newsletters or subscriptions from stores etc that I do not read I unsubscribed from. At bottom of these emails an ‘unsubscribe’ option should be available. I have all of my bills sent via email, not post, so as soon as they arrive I set up a Bpay with my bank to pay it before it falls due and archive the bill straight away. I deal with my finances straight away and note the bill is due after the next pay for my budget. Two of the four email account (Hotmail and my roller derby Gmail account) were deleted completely. I never used them. I kept my Yahoo email and the gmail for this website running as I use them both.

PHONE AND LAPTOP

I went through these devices, and my iPad, and deleted apps I no longer use and uninstalled programs I also no longer use. On the phone I tidied up the pages and moved my work email app to a page on its own so I am not opening it every 5 minutes when outside of work. I have made an effort to only check my work email 3 times a day on days off. If it is important, one would think someone would pick up the phone and call or even text outside of office hours if I am needed. As for app notifications on the phone I turned the flashing LED off, all vibration sounds off, including phone calls and text vibrations, and only set screen pop ups for apps I use frequently. If there is no screen notification when locked I do not touch phone. This has worked really well for me but may not be for everyone.

FILING

I have a Dropbox account that all my phone pictures back up to when I hit a WiFi hot spot. If I misplace my phone I won’t stress as much knowing I will have them all saved since last backup. They also back up to phone cloud as well but to be honest I have not utilised it. When Dropbox gets full I save to PC, file them by year and event and back up to an external hard drive. Sounds like a bit of double handling but it works for me. As my work is on a cloud based system it is an absolute pain to transfer anything between that cloud and personal side of PC so Dropbox makes it incredibly easy for me to transfer docs.

FOXTEL

Any TV shows or movies I have had stored on my IQ box more than 3 months I watch or delete. Foxtel is great for repeats so it isn’t like it won’t air again!

SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES

All my accounts had different user names/handles. It was doing my head in and took me a while to find one that is consistent across all of them. I felt like I was having an identity crisis online! I successfully found that @RealLaurenJones was not taken on any and lined up Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and my Gmail to that name. I also unfollowed several celebs as I no longer found them inspiring and they didn’t post very often anyway. Facebook I only use to follow friends and family so I unliked a lot of pages there too.

PLANNING CALENDARS

This year I went back to a good old-fashioned paper planner. This has worked really well and I am a hell of a lot more organised than I have been in a long time. I will add appointments in my phone but all my note taking, time blocking etc is in my planner and much more detailed.

SIDE NOTE -DEALING WITH ONLINE BULLIES AND TROLLS: People can be mean-spirited so I do not bother replying to them, encouraging them or getting into a war of words online! I try to make an effort and not leave shitty comments myself. Like I was taught, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If someone published a book of all your online comments, would you be proud? When you ignore people they quickly learn they cannot bait you and move onto the next person. Some people do not realise that trolling the internet has become a full-time profession and businesses pay people to do so to cause a reaction and fire people up. Anyone that harasses you online should be reported, delete their comments and block them as well.

If you can suggest anything else I can do to simplify my e-life I welcome your ideas!

~Lauren

Photo from movie The Matrix

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