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Aaaaaaaand TAKE TWO. I’m only slightly salty on this beautiful Friday morning – I had written just about this whole dang post last night before running off to Prayer Group, when the backend of my website refreshed and BAM. Everything was gone. The irony in talking about spring cleaning via a digital detox is not lost on me. 😉 I rewrote the whole shebang (clearly), but it just felt better the first time around…yannno the feeling?? BUT. It’s still Spring Cleaning week on CUR (ICYMI, we’ve tackled the closet + your makeup bag already!). It was 40 degrees and windy AF yesterday, but today it’s raining, so at least we’re a *little* closer to April? Yeah?
Today we’re tackling spring cleaning in another sense – a sense that’s suuuuuper relevant + necessary for me, and I’m sure for many of you, too! Spring cleaning ONLINE. A digital detox, if you will. With seemingly endless amounts of megabytes and gigabytes and terabytes, it all adds up…photos, videos, documents, notes, programs, THE WORKS. And it takes. up. space. And outside from any tangible things taking up space for us digitally, there’s the general clutter that just naturally builds up as we follow folks online and go about our everyday online lives. Spring cleaning here we come – time for a much-needed digital detox to make space on our tech and in our minds.
Chambray shirt (old from Urban Outfitters – super similar option here at the Gap on super sale for $36 with code HAPPY at checkout!) // High-waisted Darkwash Abercrombie Jeans (these are favorites of mine FOSHO – they fit insanely well and are insanely flattering, but are also insanely affordable cos they’re on SUPER SALE for $39!!!! I just got them recently and I’m SO impressed – fun fact, first Abercrombie purchase maybe ever? Or at least since 2011. HA. 😉 They’re a super comfortable, soft fit, too! Also comes in Regular, Long, AND Short sizing) // Studded flats (They’re $45.88 and near-exact dupes of Valentino Rockstud flats…for *hundreds* of dollars less #bless) // Rose teacup c/o my friends at Lipton! // Essie Spring 2018 Collection // Shop everything in my office in my Home Office Tour!
THE ULTIMATE 10 STEP DIGITAL DETOX
Declutter your desktop
If you’re like me, you’ve got one hundred and one tabs open at any given moment. Lies – one hundred and two. 😉 So chances are, you might not even know what’s saved as a shortcut on your desktop at this point. Because I had to minimize le internet to even remember what the heck was on my desktop to begin with.
If you’ve got things saved as shortcuts that you don’t even KNOW, let alone use…delete. And consider what would be good/productive/useful instead to be shortcut in its place. The idea of quick shortcuts to your most-used programs, folders, + websites is actually a brilliant one, so use it to your advantage!
If it no longer inspires, motivates, or serves you, don’t be afraid to hit “unfollow” and let it go. We become most like what we surround ourselves with (actually, statistically speaking, we become like the 5 people we spend the most time around. #FunFactFriday). Is your Instagram feed full of mindless fluff right now? Do you find yourself just aimlessly scrolling without liking or commenting? Are you less inspired and just more bored by the content you’re seeing daily? If so, unfollow.
And then – find a few new faces to follow, intentionally. Folks whose feeds feel oh so good to you, whether they make you laugh, smile, or just feel that metaphorical breath of fresh air because they’re just so dang *beautiful*.
Save things to clouds
Really, I’m just the worst at this. I swear my mom has been telling me to save things in multiple places since the 7th grade…although she still thinks USB’s are a thing. 😉 But stop what you’re doing right now (or after reading this post, it’s cool 😉 ) and save. to. cloud. Any important documents – scan ’em in, save to cloud. Any work papers or presentations – up to the cloud. ESPECIALLY any photos, videos, etc – cloud it! I know I tend to forget that technology is not actually invincible, and after a few too many unexpectedly dead laptops or blatant save mishaps with lost information, I realized it’s memories. Memories are worth that extra step to send up to cyberspace!
iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive…save things somewhere that’s backed up by a bigger system. Unlike a USB drive, that can get batted around by the cat and lost until 2022. 😉
Clear out your camera roll
Currently: 10,820 photos, 1,014 videos. I mean, yes, I’m a blogger, so this knda sorta makes sense. But is it also kinda sorta crazy? You bet. One of the tasks I like to tackle on flights is my camera roll. I start scrolling through to clear out + delete…and it’s great. The last time I did this, I found 100 attempts at the same picture before the one that actually became “the one” – so they got the boot.
Doing a solid scroll-through will also make you realize how many random screenshots you’ve got packed in there – SO much that can be cleared out.
ALSO, make folders + pick favorites in your camera roll! For some reason this is a newer discovery of mine (I only work on the internet for a living, it’s fine – ha!), but it’s saved so much time already. ESPECIALLY if you’re a photo hoarder like me, organizing in folders is a *much* quicker way to find what you actually need, instead of having to remember an approximate month or what photos are near it upon scrolling back through the depths.
Close out tabs
Currently: 76 tabs between 4 windows. And this is a good day. 😉 Granted, my tab situations is ALWAYS *organized* in this absurdly specific way that my brain just gets. But it 100% affects my overall mood + productivity if/when things get outta hand. In college, friends would always question how the HECK I got anything done like this, since half (OK all) of the time I can’t even see text on a tab detailing what it is. But for me, tabs were always my to-do’s. I prefer an empty inbox over an empty tab situation, so I’d open things in new tabs to indicate something needing to be done. That way, by the end of the day, ideally I’d be able to clear out tabs AND my inbox and be fresh all the way around.
Buuuuuut…I think that’s YET to happen. I’m getting better at immediately organizing a tab somewhere else instead of open in a browser, to minimize multi-tasking and maximize productivity. But I can always improve. 😉
Go through any open tabs on your desktop currently – which can you close immediately? If it’s a to-do, create a bookmark folder called “TO DO NEXT” and throw them in there – then close out.
Purge your inbox
I’m proud to say at this point, I’m actually pretty in ~control~ of my inbox (most days), and I can manage to get to the coveted Inbox Zero. (And I show you how to hit Inbox Zero, too!). But it’s everything *underneath* the unread section that’s the bane of my existence. Because after unread lies a 22.81 GB abyss of read randomness that badly needs some TLC.
Time to really sort things out in a way that will actually HELP you in the future. First, after a quick scroll to get a sense for what you’re workin’ with, create a few folders that you know will be the keepers. From there, do a quick scroll to delete. If it helps, start from the very last page of your inbox, since that stuff is the oldest. If you find yourself back in the 2014 archives and you haven’t pulled up the email since…it can go. Unless it’s wildly sentimental (ie. the email you were accepted to college with, or the first email your now-spouse ever sent you when you were dating, etc), let it go.
Reconnect with old contacts
As you’re going through your inbox + camera roll, take note of any old familiar faces that you haven’t seen in awhile. While clearing out the old, it’s great to make time for the new – or the RE-newed. Make note of any work colleages, good mentors, old friends – heck, even that kid who might be worth the second date. 😉 Once you’ve done some spring cleaning and feel less overwhelm, you’re in a better place to reconnect + catch up. Sometimes the best connections are REconnections that were worth making!
Refresh your wallpapers
Once you’ve cleared your desktop, X’d outta tabs, + purged the ol’ inbox and camera roll, it’s time to freshen things up for the future. A new wallpaper always feels oh so good! And it’s surprisingly important, since our subconscious registers it constantly. Grab a wallpaper of your favorite quote, Bible verse, or feel-good photo from Pinterest (or heck, even your camera roll – since you now know what’s all in that 😉 ). Or, DIY! I just made a new laptop wallpaper for myself using Canva – it’s easy peasy + makes it all your own.
Clear out subscriptions
Ever go through your credit card statement and find weird iTunes charges or other anonymous online bills for things you stopped in using in, like, 2012? Yeah, no bueno. Take inventory of everything that you’re subscribed to currently. The key: Go through your actual payment statements, so that you catch everything that you are and maybe are NOT aware of. If you see anything that makes ya go HUH WTF?, don’t be afraid to call up the company and ask for clarification on what exactly that charge is! At the very least, you’ll be aware and can mark it in your own records accordingly. And at best, if it’s something you don’t even need anymore, you just got more dollah dollah bills in your wallet. Bless.
Delete any apps/programs you don’t use anymore
This goes right in line with clearing out your desktop, so you might already have #BeenThereDoneThat. But if you’ve got anything on your computer that was a download of some sort or another, it takes up space! Make sure that’s space you don’t need now for something more worthwhile. If you can’t even remember what all is on there (like me), go to your settings to see what’s taking up what space. If there’s anything that that again makes ya go HUH WTF, check it out, + hit delete.
How are you spring cleaning your online life? Ready to start your Digital Detox today?
Any tips that I missed up above that work well for you? Tell us all about it in the comments below!
P.S. Happy FriYAY – I’m SO stoked for the weekend. You?