If you have been keeping up with FromBrownEyes for a while now, then you know I have been working to streamline and minimal-ize my life. Today I am going to show you how I did just this online.
We live in a world were things happen so quickly and there is immense pressure to always be connected. Since quitting my job and stripping my life down to just the things that make me happy, it has become clear just how much my online life was weighing me down and stressing me out. I decided to give my phone, iPad, and computer a hard look and some tough love.
Here is how I am promoting a more relaxed and calm lifestyle in my online life:
- Limit Your Following If you are anything like me, you feel pressure to read your social media feed from start to finish. For example, when I wake up, I’ll scroll through my Instagram feed all the way to where I left off the night before. This honestly would take a significant amount of time because I was following over 600 people. Let me tell you something: I do not know 6oo people well enough to need to follow their Instagram lifestyle daily. Aside from the added stress I was placing on myself to read every post from these 600 accounts, I also felt a lot of personal pressure to measure up. On Instagram, I was following a ton of celebrities, models, and health and fitness junkies. Instead of feeling inspired to eat as healthy as the fitness gurus, workout as much as the models, or be as stylish as the celebrities, I just felt like a failure. I wasn’t drawing inspiration from these people, just drawing comparisons. With this realization, I clicked on the list of people I was following and began to unsubscribe from their accounts. It was liberating. I now follow half of my previous 600, with the majority of those accounts being people that I know personally. However, I do follow a few accounts that offer tangible inspiration or joy (for example, I love seeing what Karlie Kloss is up to, what TheBreakfastBird is eating, and what Ellen DeGeneres’ latest joke is). I did the same for my YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter and Facebook accounts (although with Facebook you can choose to unfollow, instead of unfriend). Now my social news feed is filled with the thoughts, pictures, and actions of people that I care for and draw inspiration from.
- Delete Old Messages If I go to my text messages, I expect my inbox to be empty. If there are messages from a friend, then it means that I have some following up to do. Maybe I am trying to make plans with a friend, need to pick up something for my mom, or I have to remember to send an email over to a coworker later in the week. Doing this keeps me focused on the present. I do not have the option to go back and reread (…let’s be honest…”over analyze” is a better word…) messages from earlier in the day – I have deleted them and can move on with my life. In addition to being a simple way to keep your mind from dwelling on the past, it is a great way to keep your storage space available. You’d be surprised to see how much space it takes to keep records of all of your texting conversations. Do yourself a favor and read, respond, delete.
- Be App Selective I have deleted all of my infrequently used apps. There were just taking up space on my phone and making me feel guilty for not using them. The apps that I most deleted were games. Once again, I am trying my best to stay present. I want my phone to be a resource to stay connected to the ones I love, update me on the weather, show me how to get from point A to point B, and give me quick updates with what is going on in the world (the CNN app is great for this!). I don’t want my phone distracting me from the world around me, and games were doing just that. Now all of the apps on my phone get used frequently and serve a distinct purpose. Side note, if you want to know my top 5 apps for moving to a new city, click here.
- Unsubscribe From Those Unwanted Emails We all get them, the emails that just completely spam our inbox day after day. Sure, deleting them is easy enough, but why not take just 30 extra seconds and unsubscribe for good? Or, change your subscription frequency from daily emails to monthly if you still want to stay somewhat in the loop with the company. Limiting the spam and unnecessary information that enters our lives will do more to add to your overall state of calm than you might imagine. Definitely try this tip out!
- Get Organized I love creating folders. When you need to find something quickly, it makes things super easy. I keep my computer desktop, iPhone homepage, and email thoroughly sorted. Like with my text messages, I know that if I have emails in my inbox, I need to follow up. All emails that don’t require follow up will be filed into their proper folder or deleted. When, in the future, I am looking for a particular email confirmation, I can easily find it in the proper folder instead of sorting through an extensive inbox.
Here are some of the email folders I most recommend:
–Order Confirmations – Especially handy if you do a lot of online shopping or choose to have your receipts emailed to you when you shop brick and mortar.
–Travel – Here I keep all of my flight itineraries and any other travel arrangements I make (like hotel or SuperShuttle bookings).
–Things That Make Me Happy – This is my favorite, and most unique, folder. Here I save any sweet or encouraging emails. For instance, this email I got from my dad when I decided to take the plunge and quit my job: Notes like this, whether from family, friends, employers, or coworkers are a great way to cheer you up if you are having an off day. I started this folder while working for Target and if I felt under appreciated or was having an off day, this was a sure way to lift my spirits.
Well there you have it, my 5 tips for de-cluttering your online life. If you practice even just one or two of these steps, I believe that you will notice a huge difference. Stress is a sly challenger, creeping into our psyche in the most subtle and indiscernible ways. Often, it isn’t until we remove our stressors that we realize that they were stressors in the first place. Cheers to the little things that make a big difference.
What tips do you have for de-cluttering your online life? Let us know below.