Detox Your Online Life

Title image of a girl on a hammock using a computer under a magnolia tree

I live online! And I wouldn’t want it any other way. But sometimes it’s good to just step back and figure out what you really need in your life and what is just filling up your inbox and cluttering your bookmarks bar. About once a every three months I try to plan a media clean up. Think of it like a quarterly cleaning list just like you have for your house. I dust up the cluttered folders in my inbox, I run the sweeper over my overly crowded bookmarks bar, and I reorganize all of my social sites and dashboard tasks.

How many times have you been sitting at your desk, ready to get work done, and motivated to accomplish your entire to do list, when suddenly you check your email and someone pinned one of your pins on Pinterest. Now you have to go check that out, but then you wind up spending 45 minutes searching for inspirational quotes to hang on your walls. “Oh, wait, what was I supposed to be doing?” Who can relate? Welcome to the 21st century!!

Are you ready for a cleanse? Do you want to wash out all of the bad in your online life? Let’s do this! I started my cleanse yesterday, and I noticed so many benefits: I’m more productive with less wasted time, my mind feels clear and ready for anything, and I am better organized.

4 ways to cleanse your online life

1. Turn off your phone.

This can be a difficult one. We are so used to staying connected with everyone at all times. But you’re at work–you should be getting stuff done. If you’re like me and can’t handle turning off your device that ties you to the rest of the world, then try doing it only once a week. Every Tuesday I say, “Okay Danyell, no phone today at work!” And I literally sit down, turn it off, and get so much work done. I would recommend that anyone give this a try at least once a week.

2. Clear out your social media sites.

Update your bio, change your profile picture, and freshen up your online appearance. This is the first thing I do when cleaning up my social sites. It not only creates a clean and new look for all of my followers to see and recognize, but it also jump starts my new clean and clear mood.

Next is the harder part. Go through all of your followers and friends and decide who stays and who goes. This task can be really time consuming, but it seriously is going to be so relieving when you scroll through your feed tomorrow and only see things that you want to see. If you don’t want to take the time to do this, then maybe set aside a few minutes to start creating some lists. Lists in social media allow you to organize your followers and favorite people into certain categories. This lets you have a personalized feed with people of a certain category that you choose!

3. Create some folders in your email.

Last month I wrote a post about cleaning out your email, and I truly live by all of the steps that I outlined there. Creating folders is one of the best tips that I’ve ever used in order to organize my overwhelming mail box. Sometimes we don’t have time to get on and clear out our email every single day, but taking the time at least every quarter to do a deep clean and reorganize is the perfect way to detox all of the bad and clear out your mind and mailbox. Another step I like to do at the same time is to reevaluate the mail lists that I am subscribed to. What am I actually reading and what am I just tossing out? Deciding what stays and what goes is the main objective of your email cleaning spree.

4. Change your homepage.

Is your homepage some really text heavy news site? Does it pull you in and distract you every time you open a browser? No matter what your homepage is, it should be something motivating and inspirational. Your homepage is a place for you to glance before you move off to the site you were really aiming for, but it should not be a distraction to the original work that you need to complete. I like using the Chrome extension called Momentum for my homepage. It shows the time and let’s me type in a focus for the day. Now every time I open a new tab I am reminded of what I wanted to pay attention to today and keep focused on!

Humanity has created a world that is obsessed with obtaining new information at every moment. We want to take it all in, be at all places, and be alerted if anything new happens in the world. But by doing an online cleanse you will be able to reevaluate your technology usage and look at the world with fresh eyes. Breathe in the relaxing atmosphere and experience the world at a slower and more focused pace.

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