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In this series on Lagom, I have been talking about the concept of living sustainably. Lagom is the Swedish approach to life of embracing a balance. Feeling that we have sufficient, rather than being overwhelmed by too much. Reducing what we do own, repairing and recycling rather than constantly buying new things and upgrading things when we don’t really need to. But Lagom does not just refer to the material things in life. Do you need to Declutter your Digital Life?
Declutter Your Digital Life
When thinking about whether you need to declutter your digital life, you do need to ask yourself a very important question. How do you feel about your relationship with technology? Do you read your emails or go onto social media as soon as you wake? Do you go to sleep with your phone in your hand? How does it all make you feel? Maybe you need a declutter.
1. Look at all aspects of your digital life.
Is your phone/tablet full of apps that you don’t use and take up valuable space? Get rid of them. Remember also to remove them from your computer if you back up your tech to there as they also take up space on your hard drive.
Do you have millions of photos because you just back up without sorting through the new uploads? I will admit, until recently this was one of my biggest failings. I’d have thousands of photos of Elizabeth in the same place but just in slightly different positions, or even not looking at the camera. Why not go through your photos every day and delete any that aren’t vital? This takes a couple of minutes on an evening and can save you a whole load of time if you only back up your photos every now and then like I do.
2. Chuck out old files and downloads
Do you ever go through your old files and get rid of ones that you will never need again? I recently freed up Gigabytes of space by clearing out my old letters and large downloads on my laptop. Plus, if you are anything like me you may have plenty of duplicate files. All can be removed to save space.
3. Consider cloud storage/ a removable hard drive
If you do have a lot of big documents or photos, isn’t it better to have them in the cloud or on a removable hard drive rather than on the computer? By storing elsewhere you can even increase the life of your computer, as it won’t be full of documents, music and photos. It should stay faster.
4. Does Social Media make you feel unhappy?
I must admit to a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media. It can get me down if people post sad messages. It can make me angry if I see some injustice or sharing of a news item that is horrible. Do any apps make you feel bad about yourself or sad? Then just delete them. Most social media accounts can be put on hold if you are not sure if you want to erase them completely. You can always come back later if you need time to get yourself in a better place.
Also consider turning off notifications for apps on your phone. Sometimes these just make you feel like you are at the beck and call of the world, that your phone is ruling you life with a call to action. Regain your freedom and turn those notifications off!
5. Aim for an empty inbox
Are you one of those people that has 2000+ unread emails in your inbox? Subscribed to so many things that it overwhelms you to read them, so they get ignored just to build up to terminal inbox saturation?
Bye Bye Groupon for me. They send me at least 3 on most days and I stopped reading them in 2013. But there are lots of people and companies that do spam you once you sign up to receive their messages. All you have to do is go to the bottom of any messages you get from them, and there should be a button option to ‘unsubscribe’. Tick that button and you should never hear them again.
Hey! But not my notification emails obviously!
Again, why not spend 5 minutes every evening deleting or filing the emails from that day if you get a few? It will keep the overwhelming job of clearing hundreds at a time at bay!
6. Do you really need that new TV/Games System?
I will be honest – I haven’t had a new console since the Xbox 360. I haven’t had a new TV for nearly 10 years. My TV is still great and I just don’t use a games console enough anymore to justify getting anything more current. If you know you will spend a lot of time and get a lot of enjoyment, then of course go right ahead. But there is always an instant gratification to getting the latest TV, game or console, and sometimes it just doesn’t stack up.
7. Reuse and recycle old technology
Of course the aim of most of the above tips is to keep your existing phone/tablet/laptop/computer free of clutter for longer. In turn this means that you need to upgrade less. But when the time comes when you have no other choice to buy new, do remember to
- Consider buying the most energy efficient
- Recycle or hand down the unwanted technology to another member of the family
- Consider buying second hand, or accepting someone else’s hand me down.
- Think about selling the items you are getting rid of on eBay.
So, do you really need that upgrade? Or do you really need to declutter your digital life?
I would love to know your thoughts, do get in touch on my social media or comment below.