5 Tips For Decluttering Your Digital Life
With so many aspects of our lives increasingly migrated onto smartphones, our digital worlds have become overwhelmed by all the clutter. There’s just so much stuff that keeps us glued to the screen and takes us out of the real world. As most smartphones become bigger, faster and more advanced, we have to try harder to stay focused and maintain the real life interactions that are so important to our health and happiness.
At Palm, we’re using the new decade to rethink the relationships we have with our phones. We want to help put an end to phubbing—that is, snubbing someone in favor of being on our phones— because when we really look at the things that make us the happiest in life, they don’t involve a phone at all. So, we thought we’d put together a list of 5 easy tips to start decluttering your digital life.
Silence the Noise
As much as our phones are designed to keep us connected and increase productivity, they can also end up being distracting, needy and time consuming—always demanding our attention with notifications, pings, rings and all sorts of dings. If you take the time to customize your notification settings, you can silence all the unnecessary noise and stay focused on what really matters. Spending just 5 minutes in your phone settings to customize all your notifications and alerts so you only see what you want, when you want, can seriously help your sanity. Take it from us, this simple trick can make it that much easier to put your phone away and feel confident that you aren’t missing anything important.
To Delete Or Not To Delete
Time spent on our phones is more often than not time spent in apps. Lots of people load their phones with a ton of apps that they never even open. Getting rid of these extra apps makes it a little easier to navigate and find the apps that you actually want to use.
If you want to really reduce your screen time, you might need to focus on the apps that you do open regularly. Surely, if you’re spending all day looking at certain apps, while you phub the people around you, the best answer might be to just completely delete the problematic apps. This might seem like a drastic measure, but it doesn’t hurt to try deleting the apps that you waste the most time on. If you just can’t live without a certain app, you can re-download in a matter of seconds. But, we’ve found that most of the apps we delete are forgotten and we don’t even have any temptation to download them again.
Put It Down
No matter how many apps you have on your phone, the problem really comes down to how much time you spend using them. Despite all the helpful screen time apps, tips, and techniques that can help curb our usage, nothing works better than simply putting down your phone from time to time. Try leaving your phone in the other room while you watch your favorite TV show. Leave it in your purse during a night out with friends so you can truly engage with them. Or, just try turning your phone off whenever you’re having dinner at home so you can actually enjoy the people (and food) around you. More often than not, we don’t need our phones on us in these moments.
Leave it Down
For many people, it’s pretty easy to put their phone down every once in a while. The problem is trying not to pick it back up. As soon as we have an idle moment, we start scrolling aimlessly without even remembering why we got back on our phone in the first place. The simple fact is that you have to be very deliberate about staying off of your phone. Out of sight, out of mind usually works, but some people get nervous when they don’t have their phone nearby (this even has a name: nomophobia). But, if you can leave your phone in another room, stored in your bag, or anywhere that you can’t hear or see it, it’ll be that much easier to ignore. Putting your phone into Airplane Mode (or Life Mode) is another great way to prevent being distracted.
If you want to take your digital decluttering to the next level, you should consider investing in a minimalist phone that was made to keep you connected, but not consumed. A small but fully functional smartphone like Palm is designed to keep you connected without all the extra distractions that usually come with bigger phones. Palm has a software feature called Life Mode that silences all notifications when the screen is turned off, so you aren’t constantly annoyed by your phone. It’s a great solution for people who want to have a healthier relationship with their digital world.
What are you doing to declutter your digital life? We want to hear any other helpful tips and techniques that you use to keep a healthier relationship with your digital devices.