Wishing that Smartphone could get a little dumber? Email overflowing with spam? Computer turning into a virtual junk drawer? It’s easy to become somewhat of a digital “hoarder”these days—especially with a busy schedule that leaves little time for organizing. Luckily, there are simple ways to de-clutter that e-clutter and make life a little more organized, efficient, and stress-free.
Smartphones and cell phones. The unused apps, unnecessary contacts, hourly alerts and updates can actually be major space and time wasters. Set up the phone and home screen based on most accessed contacts, programs, and apps. Delete old texts as well as random and unnecessary contacts on a more frequent basis, and organize contacts in simpler categories like “Family,” “Friends” and “Business.” Clean out the thousands of pictures and videos by using organizational apps or uploading to a PC or hard drive.
Computer files and programs. Over time, the computer’s hard drive and desktop can become a cluttered black hole, making it difficult and time consuming to find things. Schedule a digital spring cleaning day, or even a couple hours a month, to uninstall unused programs, delete old unnecessary files, and empty the recycle bin. Then, adopt a simple and consistent file folder and naming system to better manage ongoing, completed, and archived materials.
Email. Tackle a messy inbox by first unsubscribing to unnecessary alerts, daily tips, and mass emails. Choose one account for personal emails, and another account for work and business purposes. It is also helpful to delete anything that has been in the inbox for more than a month, and save any personal or meaningful letters or emails in a separate folder.
Social media. It’s ok to defriend and unfollow on a regular basis, enforce strict privacy settings, and ask family and friends to stop sending spam. This will save time that would normally be spent sorting through unimportant status updates or “tweets,” and provide more direct access to important, interesting and meaningful information, people and interaction.
If information overload and digital clutter is causing increased stress, frustration and anxiety at work or at home, it may help to speak to someone. Please feel free to contact ACI Specialty Benefits, your employee assistance program: (800) 932-0034 or firstname.lastname@example.org.