Do you sometimes feel like you’re getting too much information? Does it get difficult to keep track of important things? Is it hard to segregate the important from the irrelevant?
Digital Decluttering could help you reduce the information overload and weed through your news and messages more easily. To achieve this, you have two fields of action:
- A systematic decluttering performed about once a year
- General principles for a leaner digital diet
Here’s the checklist to declutter your information intake
- Unsubscribe from news
- Remove or hide distractive apps
- Clear your social networks (e.g. unfollow people posting useless stuff)
Unsubscribe from useless news
Your email inbox is similar to a virtual home and a cluttered one might seem quite chaotic. So, are you tired of your inbox being cluttered with unwanted newsletters and marketing emails? Are you finding it tough to manage your mails? Decluttering and unsubscribing from unwanted promotional materials is the best way out. Unsubscribe from newsletters and blogs that do not interest you. You may consider the process to be time-consuming, but it takes roughly about 15 minutes to get the entire thing sorted. Most importantly, you can do it by using the “Change email preferences” or “Unsubscribe” links available within the promotional emails. In other cases, you can do it by clicking on the “Unsubscribe” link available at the top of every marketing mail that enters your inbox. Even though Gmail, Outlook and others, automatically filter promotional emails you should do this in order to separate the wanted from the unwanted news.
Hide distractive apps
The present generation is all about apps. Though some of them do simplify your life to a great extent and keep you well-connected, a few could clutter your device. When trying to remove unwanted information from a device for decluttering, it is best that you remove or at least hide distractive apps or the ones that have the least usage. There are times when we are quite intrigued and excited about trying out a new app. However, with time we realise that we hardly have any use for it. In such cases, keep these apps hidden or remove them to ensure that your device stays organised.
Clean your social networks from useless information in your feeds
While frequenting social media, it is quite easy to get overwhelmed with information we receive from individuals we know, do not know and whom we follow. It can confuse and distract you. Also, all of that information may not be relevant to your life. Digital cleaning is a great idea in such a scenario. It not only simplifies your life, but also allows you to consciously select the media you are consuming. It allows you to make conscious choices instead of simply being a digital sponge. Systematically un-follow or un-friend those people that distract and annoy you. You will receive a much more useful feed.
Reduce useless information permanently
Apart from a regular, systematic decluttering of your news intake, you can follow some general principles to reduce the number of messages you receive in the first place:
- Write less messages yourself
- Do not CC
- Do not write useless replies
- Subscribe and follow with care
Write less messages yourself
There is no denying that emails are one of the most popular means of communication for businesses and individuals alike. That said, if you are trying to reduce the number of messages in your inbox, it is best to begin by writing less emails yourself, or even better, write them at the right time. Do not send unnecessary emails to people when you can avoid them. This, in turn, will invite less replies from the recipients.
Do not CC
The higher the number of recipients, greater are the chances are of receiving multiple replies for a single email. So, avoid CC-ing your emails unless absolutely necessary. Reach out only to the concerned person when you can.
Do not write useless replies
A common practice that many seem to follow is the habit of sending replies for every little thing. Yes, it is definitely essential to revert to an email you receive. However, when you can gauge the end of a conversation, it is best that you stop writing useless replies. A chain of ending niceties can be bothering even for the person receiving it. Studies show, that this even helps the environment. In the Uk alone, if each adult sent one less email a day, Britain could reduce its carbon output by 16,433 tonne. This equals more than 81,000 flights from London to Madrid. If you look at this on a global scale the impact is massive.
Subscribe and follow with care
Receiving promotional emails is not uncommon these days. In fact, there are days when you might receive multiple emails offering services, advise, product or events. Some of this is very useful. But remember to subscribe and follow companies with care. It is not necessary to subscribe to every company, newsletter or blog. Follow only the ones that you find useful and wish to connect with. This prevents your inbox from being flooded with unwanted messages.
Decluttering your device and reducing useless information is a healthy way to keep your work organised. It allows you to cater to messages and tasks that are vital and require your immediate attention. As most of us are netizens in this age, it is important to declutter digitally to focus on what is important. After all, the mind works better in a clearer space and environment.