I remember when I got my first AOL email account and would get SUPER excited when I would hear “You’ve got mail!” as I signed on. Today, I got just as, or even more so, excited when I finally got my inbox to say “You have no email.”
After having multiple email addresses since that first AOL alias all those years ago and millions of emails later, I am in love with the idea of simplifying and limiting my inbox to only emails that need action from me. Before today, I kept my inbox like one big file cabinet with no folders. Just one big stack that I could instantly search through to find an important notice or account number somewhere. Other than those rare occurrences where I actually had to find something important, the emails were just sitting there staring at me or screaming at me to buy something. Today, I say no more.
With that I have embarked on a whole digital decluttering journey. Not just organizing but eliminating and preventing digital clutter. Here’s what I’m working on…
- Unsubscribe to 99% of lists from retailers, brands, unused services, etc.
- Create new streamlined email address that only friends, family and important services know about such as billing, insurance, etc.
- Keep only items that need action in inbox – replying to friends and family, paying bills, making doctor/vet appointments – and then delete once completed
- Stop opting in for crap you don’t need or will actually use on websites
- Do not give email address to retail stores at the checkout line and remember to uncheck subscribing to alerts and ads when checking out online
*I want to be able to decide when I buy something when I actually need it, not when an email tells me that something is on sale.
Next digital projects on the list:
- Files on the hard drive…YIKES! So many unorganized and unused files, pictures, screenshots. If these were real file cabinets, I would have a room full.
- Photos/Videos – Scanning and uploading all photos to an online cloud server, tagging each one with searchable words for future reference, and filing by date
- Important documents – Scanning and saving important documents to an external hard drive and to a cloud server in case either break.
You might be thinking that you don’t have time to do any of this but you really do. I’ve been doing a little bit each night on my laptop while I’m “watching” Netflix or listening to music in the background, not all at once. Email took me about four evenings. I’m guessing the next projects will take me a few weeks.
And I am okay with that. Change doesn’t always happen with a stroke of lightning all at once! Give yourself some time and space to make small changes and be patient with yourself when you fall behind. Awareness followed by action is key.
Life is too short for digital clutter weighing you down or keeping you in a space of inaction. Make room for all of the wonderful things you can create and contribute to this world.
Thanks for reading!!! I love to hear back from readers. What do you think about this topic? Have you had similar experiences? What helped you the most? Please comment below!
*I do not make any money off of this blog. I don’t get any kickbacks from products or books I write about. Just sharing the love!