Like it or not, we spend a lot of our time online. Ready for a horrifying stat? Kids between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 10 hours and 45 mins online, every single day. In other words, that’s over 75 hours a week. If you’re feeling the pull towards IRL interaction instead of endless Zooming/ Whatsapping/ Instagramming, you’re definitely not alone. While it’s not exactly practical to switch out your smartphone for an old-school Nokia (if only!), there are a few things we can do to ensure our digital life is as stress-free as possible. This year, make sure your big spring clean involves your electronic devices, too. Read on for our top tips on metaphorically dusting off your digital life this May.
Cancel unused memberships
How many apps, memberships, and tools are you subscribed to? If you run an online business, it’s safe to bet you’ve got some kind of subscription for content creation, project management, accounting and email marketing — and that’s before getting into industry-specific tools. Take into account Netflix, Spotify, online communities, magazines and meditation apps, and it really starts to add up. The right tools can make or break your business, but it’s definitely worth ensuring you’re only signed up to the ones you actually need. Hint: If you haven’t landed on a tool that works for you, take advantage of free trials and get testing. If you’re a Found and Flourish member, you can ask in Circle if anyone has a referral code for you to use. Once you’ve figured out what works – and what doesn’t – it’s time to unsubscribe accordingly. Your bank account will thank you!
Unsubscribe from emails
Nothing screams panic like an inbox with 3,475 unread emails. Chances are, the vast majority are either from brands you shopped at once, or lists to subscribe to in order to receive a free download in 2019. The best email newsletters are great — packed with value and really well-curated. At the same time, the not-so-great emails do nothing but clog up your inbox and add to your growing overwhelm. This May, it’s time to take matters into your own hands and get unsubscribing. Luckily, there are a bunch of amazing tools out there to help you get the job done. Unroll.me and cleanfox.io are two great options — all you need to do is connect your inbox, and it will allow you to unsubscribe in just one click. Be warned: you’ll probably be shocked at the number of mailing lists you’re on. The good news is that once you’re done, your inbox will feel a lot cleaner, and there’s less chance of distraction next time you open up your Mail app.
Sort out your photos
What does your camera roll look like? If you’re anything like me, it’s clogged with random screenshots of recipes, items of furniture I’m lusting over but can’t afford, and books I want to buy (even though my TBR pile is currently 20 metres high). You’ll also find a bunch of snaps — usually 76 variations of the same selfie or sunset — that I definitely don’t need to cling onto. There’s something extremely satisfying about going through your camera roll on your phone, and getting rid of duplicates and old screenshots. After all, we spend hours every single day on our phones. Sort through your camera roll and create folders for anything you want to save, whether that’s fashion inspo or podcast recommendations. It’s the digital equivalent of opening the windows and letting fresh air flood in.
Clear up your home screen
On a similar note, this is your reminder to clear up your computer home screen. The home screen is often the dumping ground for stray invoices, screenshots you want to include in presentations, and anything vaguely important you want to be able to access easily. My desktop currently features 4 photos of my dog in his dressing gown (don’t ask), my portfolio from 2018 (yup, it’s probably been sitting there for 4 years), and a bunch of selfies I’ve hastily edited for DIY headshots. Not great, is it? A clean desktop does wonders for your state of mind, and since it’s the last thing you’ll see before getting down to work, it’s worth ensuring it’s orderly and neat. We love searching Pinterest for aesthetic home screen inspiration — you can find endless free downloads with different sections for different folders.
Check your screen time
You’re not going to like this one… but knowledge is power, right? Nestled within your phone settings, you’ll find a folder that allows you to see exactly how you’ve spent your time on your phone recently. You’ll also be able to see how your screen time has shifted week on week, in percentage form as well as in minutes (or in most of our cases, hours). Knowing your screen time is the first step to taking control of how much time we spend online. You’ll likely be shocked at the data, but sometimes a good wakeup call is what we need to jump into action. It’s pretty powerful when your phone tells you that you spend 25+ hours a week on Instagram alone… Take a look, and figure out how much time you’d like to spend online each week, and try cutting back day by day until you reach your goals. It’s not easy, but you’ll get there!
About your author
Phoebe is Found & Flourish’s resident Business blogger, she is London-born and Frankfurt-, Paris- and Amsterdam-raised. Combining her Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship with 10 years writing for international publications, she’s the founder of BURO155 and Wellby, helping female entrepreneurs achieve their business goals through strategic online content. Phoebe is also a writer, and has written for outlets including the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Next Web, For Working Ladies and Restless Magazine.
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