For many of us, January is a great time to simplify. We purge our closets and make multiple trips to our favorite thrift shop to donate our cast offs. We pack up the over abundance of holiday decor and make our living space more simple. How about making your online experience similar? Cyber Simplify!
I’ve spent the last year on a cyber simplify journey. Today I’m going to share with you a few things I’ve done that have made my time at the computer happier, less burdensome, simple!
Unroll.me has changed how I handle e-mail. When I signed up, it magically scanned my e-mail address and found hundreds of e-mail lists I was subscribed to, everything from stores I had made a purchase from to blogs that don’t currently interest me. I had the choice to either let Unroll.me unsubscribe for me OR put the e-mails from those lists in one daily digest e-mail. I even chose what time to get that daily digest e-mail that contains all of the subscriptions I chose to remain signed up to. So easy! I’m easily distracted during the day and check my e-mail far too often. Now I get much less e-mail during the day and read one message in the evening with all of the subscriptions I am interested in receiving. This saves me so much time!
Filtering my social media experience has been a big time saver AND a big addition to my happiness. I wrote a bit about it here. When I log onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I am quick now to unfollow accounts that don’t interest me. There’s much less clutter on my social media streams when I pare down what I have “liked” or followed. The same goes for personal accounts. If someone is a Debbie Downer, I may choose to either hide them from my feed or I may unfriend/unfollow them depending on how unsettled I feel when reading their updates.
Speaking of social media, ever log on to Pinterest to find a recipe you pinned months ago with plans to make it for dinner tonight? Then three hours later, you have completely lost track of time and find yourself ordering pizza because you got so sidetracked? No? That’s never happened to you? I’ll confess that I used to completely lose track of time on all sorts of social media. Now I use Minutes Please. I simply go to their site, enter the website I want to visit and how many minutes I want to spend on it. It opens a separate browser window for that site and gives me pop up warnings of how many minutes I have left and then closes the window when my time is up. It doesn’t lock you out of the site, so if your problem is more serious you might consider Facebook Limiter or Rescue Time.
One more way I have simplified related to social media is to eliminate notifications sent to my phone or email. Ever been out to dinner with someone who has Facebook notifications on their cell phone? Every time someone likes or comments on the photo of their dinner, their attention is diverted from the people sitting at the table with them to look at what the person they haven’t seen since high school has to say about their entree. Annoying–and not just to dinner mates. It’s a distraction. And I’ve totally been that person. I no longer get no notifications from Facebook or any other social media platform via e-mail or push notification on my phone. The only time I get notifications is when I log on to an application. These notifications are not life or death, they aren’t worth being distracted while driving, while dining out, while spending time with my loved ones. I’m simplifying so I can focus on one thing at a time, trying to be present in the moment.
I hope at least one of these tips speaks to you to make your cyber experience a bit simpler. Here’s to the new year being simpler and softer!