Tips

Digital Declutter – 10 easy steps to streamlining your digital day

June 3, 2019

It’s Monday, a fresh start to a new week. But your inbox is overflowing, your computer is chugging like an old furnace, and you hardly notice because your face is buried in your phone catching up on social media. It’s time to declutter. Purge. Perform a digital cleanse.

Here are ten easy steps to give your digital life a positive reboot.

1. LEARN TO SAY GOODBYE – UNSUBSCRIBE

Perhaps the easiest way to make an impact on your digital day is to unsubscribe from emails you don’t read or have little use for anymore. Audit your inbox for these culprits and hit the unsubscribe link.

You’ll be surprised at how much time you save by not dealing with a clogged-up inbox.

2. GROUP BY SENDER FOR AN EFFICIENT INBOX

Admit it, emails are often more distracting than productive. A proven method to efficiently defend against email clutter is to group everything by sender. Doing this allows you to get a quick summary of who the offenders are, and to bulk delete or archive multiple emails from a particular sender.

3. BE RUTHLESS WITH YOUR DESKTOP

Odds are your desktop is as messy as your bedroom was as a teenager. The primary visual hub on your computer is littered with random files that you never open, making it harder to spot the things you really need on a regular basis. Time to get medieval on this clutter. Drag as many things as you can to the recycle bin. Sort the rest by kind so it’s easy to navigate whatever is left. For extra-credit, replace that overly-stimulated wallpaper with a simple background—your eyes will thank you later.

4. EMPTY YOUR DOWNLOADS FOLDER

This is pretty straight forward. It’s easy for your downloads folder to get out of hand and chew up large chunks of your hard drive space. Clean it regularly and it could potentially restore lost system speed.

5. TURN OFF NON-ESSENTIAL NOTIFICATIONS

Nothing is more distracting than incoming notifications every minute of every day. Use the settings on each app to ensure you’re receiving only the essential notifications. This probably means saying goodbye to many of your social media interruptions. This will let you focus on what you’re supposed to be doing. And, as a bonus, it will save battery life on your phone.

6. GIVE YOUR WEB BROWSER A TUNE-UP

Restore the speed and performance of your web browser by doing three simple things: remove non-essential websites from your browsing history, delete cookies, and disable unnecessary extensions.

Doing these things should allow you to browse faster with more security.

7. DO A BACKGROUND CHECK ON YOUR APPS

Go through your apps and see what they’re up to in the background when you’re not looking. Many of them will be performing a ‘background refresh’ which uses location services and robs your phone of speed and battery life. Disabling the background refresh can restore performance.

8. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES AND FOLDERS

Dedicate some serious sort time to your files to bring method to the madness. Do the same for your browser bookmarks. You’ll feel like a new person.

9. UPDATE YOUR APPS & OPERATING SYSTEM

Keep up with the updates. You’ll have more functionality, security and speed. Take caution with older devices that may not play well with new versions of apps and operating systems (or may be completely incompatible). A simple Google search will tell you the best version for your computer or device.

10. PUT THE SCREEN DOWN

It’s not a secret anymore—it’s science…too much screen time isn’t good for you. It’s a drain on your productivity and your general well-being. Use a screen time monitoring app to track your usage. You’ll be surprised at how much time you spend looking at cat videos.


This information is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

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