Minimise Your Online Footprint – Google Yourself Today

Have you ever typed your name into a search engine, and looked through the pages and pages of results seeing traces of your internet past listed here for all to see?

If you do this, you’ll probably find several old social media profiles, perhaps a link to a content sharing site where you made a profile to share great articles, and maybe an old blog or two you started but didn’t continue with.

It’s great to see these profiles for nostalgic reasons. What it is not so great for is future employers, dates or new friends to seeing the Myspace account you made when you were 10.

Today I challenge you to Google yourself, and then set about deleting and archiving any old accounts, profiles or usernames you no longer need.

Today, I took a big step and deleted my Twitter account. I used to use it regularly for work, but I no longer use the platform for leisure. It’s purely a place where I conduct social media marketing or analysis. It might be a little rash, but there’s really no need to keep five years of sharing my thoughts online if even I don’t see the use in them anymore.

 So off you go, clear out the cobwebs of your web history today.

Turn Off Your Phone Notifications, And Start Living Life.

How often are you enjoying dinner with a friend, a family gathering or an important conversation at work when you hear your phone make that familiar trill and look down, instantly distracted by that small digital device we tend to carry everywhere with us these days?

I used to be terrible for it, and honestly, I still have a long way to go. Yet I am taking small step towards moving away from that enchanting glow of my mobile screen.

Now rather than having notifications enabled for the majority of apps on my phone, I check them at set times throughout the day. Quite often I will look in the morning, on my lunch break and after work. I try to never look before bed as I find the glare messes with my sleep.

At first I genuinely felt a bit of anxiety, what if I missed an important message? What if something amazing happened and I missed it? But then I realised after two days of having no notifications and the world not crumbling down, the stuff online wasn’t a top priority anymore.

Yes I like using social media to share my work, travelling adventures and writing. However I no longer depend on the buzz of my phone to feel that my work is being endorsed, well received or liked. I write for me, and it’s the best feeling.

I challenge you to turn off at least three apps’ notifications today, and if you survive through to tomorrow, three more.

I now only get text message notifications and calls, and honestly, I have never felt more productive, less distracted, and less anxious. It worries me that my phone dependence could have actually caused them feelings in the first place.

A Minimalist Inbox | How To Sort Your Email Clutter

The majority of us, especially those office based, will receive a large number of emails every day. Add this to the number of personal emails a day we also receive, and we’re talking a lot of digital bombardment for all of our waking hours.

The reality is though, unlike text messages, calls or letters a lot of what we receive in our inbox doesn’t need a response. However I still used to check my inbox over breakfast, on the train and after dinner every day.

I would say that in my personal inbox, around 80% of what I receive are marketing campaigns or junk emails which are quickly deleted. 10% is around management of travelling, my blog and digital billing, and 10% is personal.

The amount I actually need to reply to or take action from remains at around 5-10%.

As I have pursued a more minimal lifestyle, I have become a lot more aware of the areas of my life which cause the most noise and unwanted clutter, and quite honestly my email inbox is one of the most demanding.

Less is more. It is something that I embraced a long time ago. I have less clothes so I spend less time worrying about what to wear, and spend less money on material items which don’t give me as much happiness as travelling.

I have fewer items in my house, which means less to clean, less to worry about and less to care about should it break or should I lose it.

So why, with this mindset, did I still subscribe and live with a cluttered inbox?

One day last year I decided enough was enough and I began the daunting but pretty worthwhile task of minimizing my inbox.

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Minimising your inbox step by step:

You need to start by downloading the incredible app ‘Unroll Me’ (not sponsored!) and using it to immediately unsubscribe from all the unnecessary noise in your inbox such as social media updates, newsletters or voucher websites.

Take away email notifications from your phone. I check my phone emails twice a day now instead, and it allows me to live much more distraction free.

Filters are going to be your new best friend. Step one, go through your inbox and move everything you don’t need to respond to, and I mean everything into folders. Now add filters to the emails in the folders which don’t require your immediate attention.

For example, if you get a daily email from your blog with your post stats, filter it to always go into your ‘Blog Stats’ folder, and mark as read. You know to check it each day so why not let your email do the work for you.

Now all that should be left in your inbox, after using the Unroll Me App, moving to folders and filtering are the important interactions you need to address.

Each day, you need to decide to delete (if so make sure you filter it to always delete) read and not respond, or reply.

This will become much easier as your inbox responds to it’s new minimalistic set up.

So tonight, take half an hour, sort out your inbox and set up some rules.

From tomorrow, you will no longer be starting the day already a little behind because you don’t know where to start when it comes to addressing week old emails in your inbox, you’ll be ahead.

Emails can wait for a reply, but your life won’t wait for you to start living it. 

Tomorrow: Take a room, and clear the walls and surfaces

30 days minimalism

 

 

 

Are You Addicted To Your Phone?

If you are waiting in the airport for your flight, at the station waiting for your train, or sat at home waiting in for something to arrive, what do you do? If you’re anything like me, the likelihood is that you will probably spend the majority of this time flicking from app to app on your phone.

I don’t think I am alone in this either. All you need to do is look up in any of these situations to instantly see the mass of people lost in the virtual world hidden behind the small screens in the palm of their hands.

Even when you are focused and at a social gathering, working or with friends and family, you can so easily be drawn back to looking online by the regular pings and flashes of notifications that will appear on your screen. I know I find it hard to not look if a message pops through or I see that someone has commented on one of my posts.

Today I challenge you to firstly, declutter your phone and remove unnecessary apps, photos, notes, emails and everything you’ve been saving ‘just for later’. Then I challenge you to turn off all unnecessary notifications. Okay, keep the texts, but say goodbye to Instagram, Snapchat, BBC Breaking News and so on.

I have done this on my phone at 4pm today (1200 photos down to just 600, notifications off, and seven apps deleted) and I will let you know how it feels after a day, and then a week, and after that a month of trying to spend less time living my life through a small screen.

Don’t be a slave to your apps, messages and mindless web browsing. Sure use the internet, update your social feeds and play games, but not ‘just because’. Don’t let it become a habit in that if you have a moment, you pick up your phone. Go live life instead.

Let me know how you get on.

Tomorrow – Kitchen Cupboard Detox

30 days minimalism