Spring is the epitome of a fresh start. We often spend time decluttering our spaces as we prepare our homes for warmer weather. We tuck away the winter coats and boots, we clean windows to let in fresh air and sunlight, and we purge items we no longer need.
What if we took this same mentality to freshen up our technology spaces that may also be drab and holding us back? In today’s unpredictable world, we’ve gotten so used to using technology to keep us connected and informed. Everything is online – from our work to watching our favorite TV shows, to keeping connected to friends and family on social media.
But how do you feel when you mindlessly scroll through your social feeds and email? Do you feel joy and calm, or are you triggered by the sea of notifications or news? If you feel the latter, it might be time to clean up your feeds as a step toward decluttering your mind. Here are a few tips to help:
1. Turn Off Notifications.
If you are anything like me, the little red circle with the number of unread notifications is stress-inducing, but it doesn’t have to be. You can snooze or turn off notifications for just about everything. Don’t care to see how may comments are on the last post you commented on? Turn off the notifications for that post. Part of a super chatty group or message thread? Snooze notifications to only show up during specific hours. Be in control of how and when you want to be notified.
2. Review and Refine Your Friends Lists, Subscriptions, Groups, and Pages.
How many people do you talk to or engage with on a regular basis? Are you friends with someone just to be snoopy about their life, or do you genuinely want to stay connected? Do the groups and pages you follow bring you joy, satisfaction, or encouragement? When was the last time you opened an email from that subscription?
And here’s a question to really help you redefine your friends list: If you had important news to share, how many would you actually call, email, or text to deliver the news?
Now, spend a few minutes to cull your lists. Think about the questions above, and unfriend, unsubscribe, and unfollow.
Still finding it hard to pull the plug? Some applications like Facebook allow you to make different friend lists where you can then control how much you share and receive information in each list, or many email subscriptions have frequencies and lists you can choose.
3. Dedicate Certain Times of the Day.
Allocate specific times of the day for email and social scanning. This tip can be tricky for those of us who do most of our work online, but if you allocate increments for emails or social throughout the day, you’ll be surprised how much you can get done in the in-between times!
Spend the first 30 minutes of your day checking emails and responding, then log out or completely close the application. Spend five minutes to check in half-way through your day to make sure nothing urgent has come in and respond. Then spend the final 15 minutes of your workday to tie up any loose ends.
Hopefully these three tips can help you clean up the technology in your life so that your mind can be spent on more productive or joyous activities. And most of all, don’t feel bad about doing it – you have to do what’s best for you!
This blog article was contributed by Kate Borman, Marketing Manager at Nexus Family Healing.
Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.