The world is at an all-time high for the amount of digital information being created. This has given rise to what some call “digital minimalism”, a movement towards reducing one’s dependency on technology and instead of living more authentically. This article will explore what this means, why it might be important to you, and how you can start practicing it in your life today!
Change your phone
Smartphones have become staples in the lives of most of us. This is no surprise given how much time we spend plugged in. One of the easiest ways to cut down on your usage is to get rid of your smartphone. Instead, you can choose minimalist phones like the flip phone or a basic phone. These phones allow you to stay connected but don’t have the features and distractions of a smartphone. For example, you can call and send texts, but there’s no internet, no games, and no social media. Having this small amount of separation from technology could help you better appreciate the time you have outside of your phone. If that’s not an option for you, there are ways to change your settings on your smartphone to help reduce your usage.
Minimize your social media
Another way to reduce your dependency on technology is to minimize the amount of time you spend on social media. If you can’t completely get rid of your smartphone, minimizing social media usage is also a good way to go minimalist. Studies have shown that the more time you spend on social media, the more likely you are to feel depressed and compare yourself to others. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, try setting a timer for 5-10 minutes and only checking it once or twice a day. This will help prevent you from getting sucked into the black hole of the internet and will make you more mindful of how you’re spending your time.
Organize your files in the folders
A great way to become a digital minimalist is by organizing your computer’s files into the folder that matters. If you have 100 documents, it might be better to have 5 folders with 20 documents each rather than 100 documents all in one place. This will help you be more mindful of the information you’re taking in and make it easier to find what you’re looking for. So, try to create a habit for yourself of organizing your computer’s files every time you download or create new items.
Unsubscribe from newsletters
Do you get overwhelmed by the number of newsletters you subscribe to? If so, unsubscribing from some of them could be a good way to start practicing digital minimalism. If you don’t know how to unsubscribe, try doing a search online for “unsubscribe from [name of company]”. Most companies make it super easy to unsubscribe and should do so in the same email you subscribed in (although sometimes it’s hidden at the bottom). This will help you focus on the information that’s important to you and cut down on the amount of noise you’re taking in. It might be hard to let go of some of your favorite newsletters, but it’s worth it to have a more streamlined inbox.
Backup important files
Another great way to start becoming a digital minimalist is by backing up your important files, whether it’s on a flash drive cloud, hard drive, or storage. This will help you reduce the amount of clutter in your life because there won’t be as much stuff to keep track of. You can even use different devices like USB sticks and external hard drives to back up your files. This is a good way to make sure your files are safe in case of a computer crash or natural disaster.
Declutter your email inbox
Our email accounts are constantly being filled with junk emails. When you’re trying to find what’s important, it gets harder and harder to wade through the noise. If you’re looking for a simple way to reduce your email clutter, we already mentioned unsubscribing from newsletters, but you can also declutter your inbox by creating folders. For example, you can create a folder for personal emails, a folder for work emails.
Keep track of your passwords
One of the worst feelings is when you forget your password and you have to try, try again until it works. Keeping track of your passwords can be a huge pain, but there are some easy ways to do so. The first way is to save your passwords on your phone. However, this can be dangerous if you lose your phone or someone steals it. The next option is to keep track of them in a password manager like LastPass. This program will store all of your passwords in a secure place and you only need to remember one password to access it.
Spend more time offline
Finally, another way to start practicing digital minimalism is by spending more time offline. This doesn’t mean you have to unplug from the internet completely, but try taking a break from your phone and computer every once in a while. Disconnecting can be really refreshing and will help you focus on the things that are happening in front of you. It’s important to mention that you should spend that offline time outside because being in nature is really good for your mental health. It will help you feel refreshed, grounded, and more connected to the world around you.
So, these are some tips for starting your journey towards digital minimalism. It might be a little challenging at first, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. By decluttering your life and focusing on the important things, you’ll be able to enjoy the little things in life. You’ll be able to spend more time with friends and family instead of trying to get ahead at work or scrolling through social media feeds. The biggest thing is that you’re doing it for yourself, so keep working towards becoming a happy digital minimalist!