Already a staple in many cultures, minimalism has gained popularity in our neck of the woods in recent years, as evidenced by the success of Marie Kondo and her ilk. Did you know that you can also better organize your digital life? Cutting down on your screen time would allow you to focus on other things. Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate digital minimalism into your daily habits so that this resolution doesn’t fall by the wayside (like your gym membership!).
- Clean up your email
Reading and filing emails takes up valuable time every day. Start by unsubscribing from newsletters that you don’t actually read. Next, create folders in your mailbox to organize emails into different themes or in order of priority. Check your spam file about once a week and empty it if there’s nothing relevant or important. Lastly, try to practice some self-discipline and check your emails only a certain number of times throughout the day, such as once in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, for example. Not always an easy feat, but the payoff is worth it!
- Set aside some offline time
Draw up a schedule for when you can be on your phone, tablet, or computer, and make sure you stick to it by monitoring your screen time. It’s easy with the Active Time Details feature on the Helix Fi app! It enables you to see how long each profile is active on your network (this is also a great way to check how much time your kids spend online). Also plan times when everyone’s offline. For example, you could set aside family dinner as a screen-free time or declare Sunday as a day of digital rest. Another tip would be to keep bedtime truly restful by leaving devices out of the bedroom.
- Secure your access
Avoid digital fraud by protecting your accounts! Change your passwords frequently, choose strong ones, and update your apps when recommended. Fewer problems to manage means more free time.
- Think before responding on social media
Words vanish, writing remains! Remember that everything you post online stays there for good. Avoid the stress caused by impulsive feedback, and practice controlling your emotions when online. Before pressing “Send,” ask yourself if you would have said the same thing face to face. Similarly, protect yourself from trolls by blocking those who don’t do you any good on social networks. Your peace of mind will thank you!
- Keep your work and personal lives separate
If you work from home, set up a space dedicated to teleworking, even if you don’t have a separate office. A nice screen or isolated table can help you—and the rest of the household—know exactly where work happens! And when you’re done for the day, close up shop for real, and don’t go back to the “office.” Be firm about your work hours. The right to be offline is a hot issue that’s regulated in Ontario and some European countries. Although this is not yet officially recognized in Québec, nothing stops you from clarifying with your employer when you’re not available.
- Set aside some online fun time
Lightening your digital load doesn’t mean swearing off screen time altogether! Keep the apps and platforms that do you good and allow you to have fun, decompress, and discover interesting things. Connect with online communities that actually give something back to you. After all, humans are social animals, even behind a screen!
Becoming a minimalism Jedi
Are you curious about digital decluttering and want to learn more? Check out Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport. You’ll find additional tips to help you keep your resolution. May 2023 bring your peace, both on and offline!