Numerous studies have discovered having a clean and organized space has positive effects on your life and overall well being. Clutter, on the other hand, causes stress, anxiety, feelings of guilt and could impede in one’s creativity and productivity. The takeaway? Cleaning your living and office space is important to a calmer and more prolific life. In the digital age, this has become true to our digital spaces as well. We spend a lot of time in them (phones, computers, tablets etc). The average person spends over four hours a day on their mobile phone so keeping it clean and organized is important.
Here are five tips to achieving decluttered, perfectly curated, and straightforward digital spaces.
Gasp! You mean delete Candy Crush and potentially lose my high score? Yes, you haven’t used it in years and you probably won’t (save an especially long train ride with no wifi). Don’t be afraid to delete unused apps. Sometimes, we get anxious about letting them go thinking that we may still need them in the future. If that happens, you can always reinstall. In the meantime, there’s no point keeping apps that you never open.
To be sure of the ones that are really no use to you and you are an iPhone or iPad user, here’s how to view the last time you opened an app.
You’ll be able to see a list of all your apps and the last time you opened them. If you have never opened an app, it will display “Never Opened.”
For Android users, it’s a bit more complicated because every version has a unique way of accessing the usage statistics of apps. Here’s a complete guide to all of them.
Deleting unused apps will not only declutter your phone but it will also make your device run faster and smoother.
Every day we are bombarded with notifications from our apps and it’s harming our productivity. Just hearing our phone buzz can damage our performance in attention-demanding tasks.
Turn off or limit notifications from apps that do not require your immediate attention, such as social media, news, and shopping apps. Another way to ensure apps aren’t disturbing you instead of enabling push notifications, see if there are options for silent push or only indicator alerts next to the app icon.
Organize your phone so that there are more steps to access apps that distract you from work (games, shopping, etc). Make them harder to reach by putting them into multiple folders to keep yourself from constantly opening them.
Only keep the most essential apps on your home screen. Focus on communication and organizational tools like email, texting, calendar and other tools that you use often.
When you’re waiting for a work email or that text from that special someone, any noise your phone makes will have you leaping across the room for it. Even if we try to stop ourselves from obsessively checking we’re afraid to miss out on something important.
Good news! You can keep your phone from bothering you all day without turning off your notifications. Just set up customized ones. The first thing you should do is to split up your apps into three categories: important, unimportant, and useless.
Important – Apps that you use regularly for communication, work, or school. E.g. messaging, personal/work email, calendar, and checklist apps.
Unimportant – Apps that you use regularly but are not really that important. Instant messaging and social media belong in this category. (Unless social media is work-related.)
Useless – Apps that you use purely for leisure and entertainment such as gaming, shopping, and photo and video apps.
Turn on everything for important apps; the sounds, Notification Center, badge app icons, and the lock screen.
For unimportant apps, turn on everything except for the sound. Notifications will show up on the lock screen, in the notification center and will display banners but won’t bug you with sounds or vibrations. This way, you are still able to see them but they won’t be a distraction.
For useless apps, turn everything off.
Only set up or log in to accounts where it’s important for you to have immediate and constant access. Also, remove sync inboxes that you do not need to check regularly, social media accounts, and games. This will declutter your phone AND also reduce the amount of time spent on unproductive apps.
Ultimately a clear and decluttered phone will help you better navigate your digital spaces, get work done more efficiently, and as an added perk, cut down your screen time. All good things!