How to Conduct a Digital Detox

smart phone flat lay with folder

Cleaning out your closets, emptying your cupboards, and tossin’ out half of your stash of whatever you collect is super detoxifying and freeing. Hell, maybe you made a few bucks off of it too. Guess what – there’s so much more you can do to de-clutter your life. We spend so much of our time on our phones, in front of computer screens, and watching Netflix. There’s gotta be some digital clutter to get rid of – I promise you there is. I started cleaning out the extra digital pieces of my life, and honestly just instantly felt better. There are things that I didn’t even know made me feel anxious until I started getting rid of them.

Ok, ok, ok. Close all your tabs (except this one!), put your phone on silent in another room, and turn off Netflix.

Hehe – this is the first part of a digital detox! Get all those distractions out of here. *swats*

This isn’t an end all be all list, but I promise after you get through these things you’ll start to feel the weight lift off your shoulders. Maybe you’ll run into other ideas along the way (make sure to share them with me!).

So let’s do it.

Clean Out Your Email

We’re going to do two things here. We are going to get your inbox to zero. Yup. Maybe you have 5 unread emails. Maybe you have 2445. We’re getting to zero. Trust me, it won’t be that bad.

First, you need to unsubscribe from all those retailers, blogs, and airline deal alerts for flights you’re not going to book. Go through and unsubscribe to emails that you honestly get no value from. You’ll probably save some money too since you won’t be hounded with sales and promotions from retailers you don’t need to buy from. Even if you keep a clean inbox after the fact, the act of having to sort through emails and decide what to keep, what to buy, and what to read is exhausting.

After you’ve unsubscribed from all the emails you choose, delete all of them from your inbox! Have you ever used the search function? It’s seriously a lifesaver when it comes to quickly deleting and filing emails when you can filter by sender or words in a subject line.

Finally, if you just can’t live without your Jo-Ann’s emails or blog updates directly in your inbox from your favorite blogger, I would suggest creating folders for different types of emails so that when you’re ready to sift through them, you can choose to and they’re all organized. I create automated rules for certain emails that are super frequent like shopping emails and Notes from the Universe.

Delete Unused Apps

After a big task like cleaning your inbox, let’s do something simple. You can easily see the apps you don’t use very often and start uninstalling from there. If you haven’t used an app in a few weeks or a month, then you don’t need it. Right?

For Android users, if you open up Google Play and select ‘My apps & games’, you’ll see an ‘Installed’ tab. From there you can sort your apps by ‘Last Used’.

Apple users who have the newest version of iOS can actually have their phone automatically delete apps that are unused – super neat! This article explains how to do it. If you have it enabled, you’ll see it under iPhone Storage under settings.

Not only would I suggest doing this with apps you don’t use, but with apps you seriously waste your time on too. It opens up your phone storage, saves your battery life, and frees your mind. It really does.

Organize Your Computer Files

If you find yourself searching and searching for files on your computer, you might want to step back and create a filing system. I think everyone has a pretty personal preference when it comes to folder organization, but once you figure it out you’ll feel way better and you’ll be able to find your files so much easier. Don’t just keep everything in your Downloads file!! πŸ™‚

Here’s an example of how I organize my Just Peachy files:

  • Just Peachy
    • Admin
    • Marketing
      • Social Media Content
      • Email Marketing
      • General
    • Photos
      • Edited (when I don’t have a specific theme or project, edited photos go here)
      • Flat Lay Day
        • Edited
      • Etsy
        • Edited
    • Videos
      • Polar A360 Review
      • Western Caribbean Cruise

There’s more, but that’s a snapshot! I work at an online marketing agency, and I have a lot of clients. If you’re an entrepreneur, you might have clients too! This is what my desktop kind of looks like:

  • Clients
    • Client 1
      • Google AdWords
        • Text Ads
        • Banner Ads
          • Campaign #1
          • Campaign #2
      • Social Advertising
      • SEO
      • Website Content
    • Client 2
      • Social Media Content
        • Year
          • Month

Definitely just examples! But it might give you some ideas.

Turn Off Push Notifications

This has been a big one for me. I turned off pretty much every push notification on my phone except for text messages and some apps. It was easy to shut off notifications for games and news-related things. I had a minute or so where I was anxious about turning off push notifications for apps like Facebook, but you know what? I turned them off and nothing bad happened. There isn’t anything that happens on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram that needs to be known right now. Maybe you manage a few social profiles for brands, and that can be important, but other than that, you don’t need to know how many people have liked your new picture or how many people commented on your new Instagram post. This will help you limit the number of times you’re using your phone too. You’ll start getting used to the fact that you don’t have notifications waiting for you right on your screen.

Just Get Away from Technology

Well, it’s that simple. It really is that simple. You’ll be tempted to bring your phone to the gym or to check Facebook between rows while you’re crocheting, but don’t. It’s so refreshing to live your life in the moment by yourself or with the people you love. I’m not necessarily suggesting tossing your phone when you leave for vacation. I have mine when I go places for safety reasons, but I’ve ‘trained’ myself to pretty much pretend it’s not there.

These are some pretty simple – but sometimes time consuming – activities to declutter your mind from digital chaos. I promise once you do one or two of these, you’ll start to feel some of that weight lifted off your shoulders. You might not even know that the weight is there. Maybe it’s not. That’d be real nice. πŸ™‚

Have you ever done a digital detox before? What else have you done to limit your device usage or to clean up your digital files? Let me know!

Follow along. You know you want to.

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