Last month, I talked about the power of decluttering the space around you, to clear your mind and give you clarity. This subject can be explored further, as there may be another area of your life that could be sending your mind into a spin; your digital world.
Is your email inbox overloaded with messages? Are the work folders on your PC filled with old projects? Does your smartphone continuously beep with notifications? Are you easily distracted and struggle to focus on the task in hand? Digital clutter can cause you just as much stress as the physical kind.
Smartphones, tablets and PCs have rapidly crept into every area of our lives; we simply can’t put them down! You only have to look around you to spot how many heads are engrossed in a screen; in restaurants, cafes, on the high street and even by the pool on holiday. Wherever you are, a digital device is never far away. It’s virtually impossible to run any successful business without one; the mass destruction caused on a global scale by the recent cyberattack, signifies how reliant we’ve become. But maybe we could take a little break when we’re away from work.
Time to switch off
It’s not easy to keep the amount of time you spend at a screen under control. I am guilty of it myself and when I move house, my plan is to introduce a digital-free Sunday. After a quick email check at breakfast, all digital devices will go away for the day. I have to say, I’m looking forward to this weekly digital-break and I think it will be incredibly liberating; triggering that same sense of satisfaction I feel when the house is tidy and in order. Whether I settle down to a good book, catch up with family and friends, or potter in the garden, I will be in the present, with no distractions and a digital-free mind, just for one day.
Are you a digital addict?
If you find it difficult to be in the moment, struggling to concentrate and focus on one task, it may be time for a digital declutter. Here are some signs to look out for:
- You’re browsing through your tablet or smartphone and before you know it, two or three hours have passed; you’ve completely lost track of time.
- You feel anxious if you’re without your smartphone for a short time.
- Your smartphone has become part of the table setting.
- A message or notification comes through and your natural reaction is to look straight away.
- You check your smartphone last thing at night and first thing in the morning.
Kath’s tips for a digital declutter
- As we approach the holiday season, now is the perfect opportunity to take some time out. When you’re away, if you can, put your out-of-office on and take a break from the digital world. You could check your emails first thing for anything urgent and then put your smartphone away. You will return feeling like you’ve had a proper rest.
- Enjoy the moment you’re in. Your smartphone doesn’t need to be part of a walk in the country or a meal with family and friends.
- If you can, try and have a digital-free day at the weekend.
- Turn your smartphone notifications off, so that it’s not beeping every few minutes. Check it periodically for anything important, so that you can concentrate on the task in hand.
- Set aside some time to delete those old emails and organise the work folders on your PC. You’ll find the files you’re looking for much quicker!
Take some time to relax this summer; switch off, enjoy the moment and I guarantee you’ll feel a lot calmer!