15 Aug 15 Steps to Digitally De-Stress
National Relaxation Day is August 15! As you prep for fall, make sure you take some time out to relax… though that’s easier said than done in today’s world.
With notifications on your computer, smartwatch, and phone alerting you of everything from thunderstorms to Instagram notifications and how you are doing on your steps for the day, it can get a little overwhelming. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from it all and enjoy being in the moment.
Here are 15 steps you can take on or before August 15 to “declutter” your digital life and step away from the screen.
- Review your notification settings – When you open your phone, is there a little red bubble hovering over every app? Take control of which apps can notify you and how those notifications appear – on your lock screen, on the home screen, in your notification center, or not at all!
- Delete unused apps – Speaking of apps, how many do you really use? It can be truly cleansing to narrow it down and get organized. Keep the ones you open the most on the first page and set up folders so you can find what you need when you need it.
- Clean off your desktop – We aren’t just talking about phones now. Taking a minimalistic approach to your computer’s desktop can make it a lot less stressful to log in each morning.
- Take control of your social media – Your feeds should be a place to connect with people you care about, catch up on the news, and get inspired. If you’re seeing posts from people you hardly recognize or about things you aren’t interested in, it might be time to go ahead and click the “unfollow” or “unfriend” button. Don’t forget, you can also let Facebook know when ads are irrelevant so they know to stop showing them to you.
- Aim for Inbox Zero – A productivity expert created a system called Inbox Zero that you can follow so your email doesn’t get out of hand. Delete, delegate, respond, defer and do so your inbox stays empty (or almost empty) all of the time.
- Back up your files – Sync to the cloud, try Google Photos, install Dropbox, or transfer everything to an external hard drive. Whatever your method, just make sure you’re covered.
- Don’t download to your desktop – Set the default location for new files to be downloaded to the “Downloads” folder so you don’t litter your line of vision.
- Out with the old – Just like your closet, your trusty hard drive probably has plenty of old things in it that you don’t need any longer. Delete the skeletons in your folders that are taking up space.
- Try a password manager – The average American has 100 user accounts – that’s 100 usernames and passwords to keep track of! Consider LastPass, 1Password, or another password manager to help you keep up.
- Clean up your bookmarks – Streamline your browser window by keeping your bookmarks at bay.
- Think of your Photos app as an album – Do you have 20 outtakes from each attempt to get a perfect selfie? Narrow it down to the best shots to keep your photos manageable.
- Print out your favorite pictures – While your Photos app and Instagram are great digital photo albums, there’s something about having physical photos and albums as keepsakes that technology will never fully be able to replace. There are plenty of apps that allow you to order prints directly from your phone.
- Stop robocalls – Add yourself to the Do Not Call Registry. Then consider downloading Hiya, the free app that blocks spam and robocalls, and if you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer.
- Call a time out – Don’t be afraid to shut down your email program, turn on an “out of office” (even when you’re really at your desk), or switch on your phone’s Do Not Disturb setting if you need some peace and quiet to concentrate or just to take a break.
- Change your “zoning out” method – After a long day, is your default way to relax to grab your phone? Try something else instead like grabbing a book, making a cocktail, listening to some music, or heading outdoors.
Now take a deep breath in and let it out. Doesn’t that feel better already? Just like cluttered physical spaces, when your digital life is cluttered, your mind can feel that way, too. Even if you just choose a few of these tricks to implement this week, we guarantee it will leave you feeling like you can breathe a little easier.