Let’s face it. Our lives are now digital. We live physically as well as digitally. And after the pandemic, even the digital skeptics among us must live some part of our lives digitally.
But that also means that we need to clean up our digital lives as well. Just like we clean up our physical surroundings and keep our homes organized, we need to do the same digitally. Just like we spring clean our homes and everything in it, we must do the same for our digital lives. This approach to digital thinking and organizing may be new. But it is much needed as well. In this article, we will lay out some digital hygiene habits that you can follow to declutter your digital life.
In this article, we will cover some basic tips for decluttering our digital life.
Clear Browser History
Does not matter what browser we use; we must always clean our history. Each of the websites we visit leaves breadcrumbs and trails behind. This is especially true with social media sites. So, if you’ve been browsing, we highly recommend taking this step now. Here are some handy instructions on cleaning your history on any browser.
Clear Cache and Cookies
The next step is to clean up the browser cache and cookies. Cleaning your history is just erasing half of your browsing data, when you clear your cache and cookies, you are essentially deleting all the breadcrumbs that were left behind. Here are some instructions to clear cache and cookies.
Empty Recycling Bin
This one is basic, but we often overlook it. When we delete a file, it's not deleted from our laptop. Not unless we delete it from the recycling bin. This is built as a security feature in case we delete a file by mistake. However, we always forget to clean up the bin after deleting files. If your settings are not configured correctly, the files can potentially sit in the bin, taking up precious disk space for weeks and months. You can find instructions to empty your recycling bin here.
We get tens if not hundreds of messages each month. Most of those emails are junk and have no utility value after months and years. If you have never deleted an email, consider this an intervention. It is about time you clean up the junk that has been sitting in your inbox. Those emails from your ex and the coupon codes from your favorite retailer that you may use sometimes are not doing you any favors. Many of us have inboxes that have hundreds and thousands of unread emails. If that sounds like you, we encourage you to consider the idea of Inbox Zero. It is about time you take control of your inbox.
Unsubscribe from Emails
Cleaning up your inbox is the first step, but you need to take steps such that it does not get to a place where it needs excessive cleaning up. That can only happen if you unsubscribe from unnecessary emails. If you haven't opened something for weeks and months, it's about time you let it do. You can also use a service called unroll.me that’ll collate all your subscriptions and send them to you as a single email. This is especially important if you are constantly distracted by incoming emails. This service essentially stores all these emails into a folder and sends you one email each day – all rolled up in one.
Reduce Devices and Cables
We have so much technology sitting in our homes that we don’t even realize it. If you are hoarding your old phones, laptops, and tablets, it's time to let them go. You’d be surprised how much you can earn by just selling them second-hand. You can also donate these devices to those who need them and can make use of them.
Reducing the number of devices also means reducing the number of devices. Do you need the surround sound system that you use once a year? Wouldn’t your Bluetooth speakers work as well? Can you reduce the number of headphones in your home? How about selling them all and buying a more reliable pair instead?
Next up are your cables. All of us have tens of these cables sitting around tangled with one another. If you can’t recycle them, at least organize them so you can stop buying new ones.