Last week I read a powerful blog post that sent me off on a major binge to declutter my digital life. The post talked about how being busy has become a new status symbol; as though we value our personal worth based on how busy we are compared to others. I mean, how many times do you sit around with your family and friends and hear someone going on and on about how busy they are? How many times do you do it to others? It’s like somewhere deep in our subconscious we associate being busy with being important and it makes us feel like we have value. I mean, we wouldn’t be busy if we weren’t contributing so much to the world, #amiright?

So, I read the post then, I read it again. I felt a heavy conviction on my heart because all I’ve done for the last few weeks is whine to my family and friends about how busy I’ve been (sorry about that guys). On Friday, I almost broke down during a phone call with my office. Friday night Brandon looked at me and said, “I’ve never seen you so stressed, you look like you’re about to cry” and I lost it. The tears poured out and I made a plan to make this weekend my declutter weekend, focusing on cyber-trashing my digital overload first.

Declutter digital apps

I’m never without my phone close nearby (as my husband has so lovingly called out like a million times) so I decided to start with it first. I went app by app and purged the ones that weren’t necessary by asking myself a series of questions:

  • Does this app provide value?
  • Does this app help organize or destress my life?
  • Is this app essential?

I ended up deleting nearly 15 apps from my phone including multiple apps designed to help with social media (like, why did I have 3 apps for Facebook and 5 for Instagram?). I deleted editing apps, games, and other non-essentials. I then turned off notifications for my social media and email apps as I realized those little numbers were causing me stress and making me feel beholden to the app. That little number indicating notifications does not mean I have to check the app yet it made me feel like I did. Now, with the notifications turned off I check it when I am free to do so and when I actually want to spend time on it.

I also decided to declutter the screen by organizing all of my apps into folders. It’s much more organized and I feel less overwhelmed by dozens and dozens of app icons staring me down every time I pick up my phone.

Declutter your digital life

When I was finished with my phone I turned my attention to my laptop which was a nightmare. The first thing I did was access my WD MyCloud which I use for all of my backups and extra storage so I could make new folders and create an organized system for all of my digital noise. Once that was done, I started moving files. I moved all of my photos to organized folders on the WD MyCloud and all blog-related contracts, invoices, and records for 2017 and prior. The only things I left stored on my laptop are items related to my career and 2018 blogging.

I also went in and updated my Dubsado account. I use Dubsado to manage my PR contacts, sponsored content contracts, invoices, and blog-related accounting. I transferred everything for 2018 into Dubsado and moved my old spreadsheet systems over to the MyCloud to get them off my laptop. I scheduled my upcoming sponsored content as jobs in Dubsado with a due date so I can see everything at a glance and keep me organized without feeling overwhelmed.

The only thing I have left to declutter are my photos but I think I’m probably going to do the same there. I’ll use some of them to update the contact photo for people in my phone then move the ones that aren’t scheduled for Instagram to the MyCloud to increase the storage space on my phone and reduce the digital noise I feel is hitting me every day. 

I also deleted all of my existing YouTube videos and updated the branding to match what I currently have going on here at Honey & Pine Co. I have a ton of other social media clean-up to do but that’s a monster for another day…

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28 – 30