De-cluttering: top 10 tips for creating digital space

Today’s IORG Guest Post is from Ingrid Pope, executive coach and professional mind de-clutterer.  Ingrid’s mission is to de-clutter the world of everything that gets in the way of our effectiveness, our focus, and our life  by creating space to think, to work, to live.

These days, we all spend a large amount of time engaging with technology on our various devices, so much so that it can feel like tech has taken over our lives. Here are my top tips for becoming aware of our digital clutter and taking some simple steps to de-clutter the tech.

De-cluttering: top 10 tips for creating digital space

  1. Organize your digital data. A good digital filing system is just as important as the good old filing cabinet and it’ll help you feel assured that you will find your documents, photos, videos  quickly when you need them rather (than dreading to ever need to look for anything and spending hours searching).
  2. Have only one single copy of each file. If you need it to be available in different locations, use shortcuts rather than duplicating the file and creating unnecessary clutter.
  3. Remove all old files you don’t need anymore. If you don’t want to delete them, move them into an archive folder so that they are out of your way and you don’t have to look at them all the time.
  4. Remove all shortcuts from your desktop/phone/tablet screen that you don’t use all the time. These icons create a cognitive load and require filtering out every time you look at your screen, so reduce their number to the minimum and don’t let them distract you.
  5. Be sure to have a back-up system. This is very easy to do nowadays with various cloud solutions and it will give you peace of mind, also avoiding disasters when the hardware fails.
  6. Keep an eye on your e-mails. Be ruthless and unsubscribe from anything you don’t want to receive.
  7. The golden rule with e-mails is: the more e-mails you send, the more you receive. So you know what to do to keep the number down!
  8. Be intentional with the time you spend on digital platforms. Apps and websites are designed to keep us engaged through various little tricks (endless scrolling, attention-grabbing headlines, notifications using the color red to attract us, etc…). Don’t let the tech rule you and take back control of your attention.
  9. Leave your phone/tablet/computer in a different room for a while. Pay attention to the discomfort in doing this, this is information as to your behavior patterns.
  10. Buy an alarm clock. This will get rid of the excuse of needing your phone in the bedroom every night!

Do share your tips with the community too by commenting below. And in the meantime, happy de-cluttering!