A common theme heard drifting around the internet today is “simplify.” Obviously with the title of this website I have an investment in helping you simplify your life, and today let’s talk about applying that to our digital life.
I used to think I would NEVER get a smart phone. I wasn’t going to be one of “those” moms who was glued to their phone while their children shouted their name. I would NOT allow technology to take over my life!
As the world went on without me and I tried to build an online business with my slider phone and an ipad with the instagram app . . . I quickly realized I was wasting a lot of time and I gave in to the iphone 3 years ago.
Did it make my work more efficient? Definitely. Did it turn me into a screen focused mom? Yes. I was really good at first, then went through a phase about a year ago where I was terrible with it. I couldn’t go to the bathroom without my phone. I was hooked.
Having a presence on social media can be addicting. I am at a healthy place now, but there was a time when I had to realize what my priorities were, and stick to them.
I used to download a lot of apps and have little red circles all over my screen screaming at me to check on the latest comment or email. After my husband and I really made the decision to minimize our lives, I turned inward to think about how I could do the same for my digital life.
I have implemented a few key points that I want to share:
- Turn off notifications. If someone needs you THAT bad, they will call. Now I never have little red circles on my screen. I don’t know what is going on or how many people are vying for my attention until I actually open up an application. That alone has been so relieving! If I see the red circle it haunts me until I know who it is and what they need. This way, I schedule my time to check it and am not looking every time there is a dot! (*I do have notifications turned on for one comment group I am in on IG, but that’s all)!
- Delete delete delete! I am continually deleting apps I don’t use. They will always be there if you need them again, but if you haven’t opened it in a few weeks, get rid of it! I hate having clutter on my homescreen, which leads me to . . .
- Make use of folders. Group apps that are similar into folders to clear the clutter. I only leave out in the open the apps I use daily, and even a few of those are tucked into a folder. I love keeping it clean, it makes me less stressed, and I am more productive when I don’t have so many options to play around with because they aren’t as visible.
- Prioritize and schedule your time. With four small children, there are a lot of things vying for my attention daily. I have to be intentional about my time and how its spent. Running an online business makes this difficult because often we feel compelled to constantly check and answer messages NOW. I have learned that people can wait! Now I check my e-mail twice a day. In the morning after my girls go to school, and in the evening when my children are in bed. I am on instagram off and on throughout the day, but only for a few minutes at a time to fulfill responsibilities I have there. I don’t scroll much anymore. I schedule time in the morning to work, and I have certain hours after school where I am not with my phone. It can wait.
My children are my biggest priority, so while sacrifices are made in our family for our future and sometimes I do have to leave or do extra work, I have time scheduled to be completely present with them. I have changed relationships by simplifying my digital life.
When my oldest said to me last year “You’re always on your phone!” That was it for me. Shame faced, I realized she was right and I was getting more annoyed with my kids when my phone was around and they “interrupted” me. So we have tried to change. It’s hard. Those things are addicting!
How do you declutter your digital life? I would love to hear in the comments!