How to simplify online time & ease your mind
3 Minute Read: Simplicity, minimalism, simple living, inbox zero, daily routines, life design.
I like this – and love routine. Feels good to offer a steady, consistent source of support and to cultivate connection in a steady, ease-filled way.
And yet, certain aspects of my relationship with technology are shifting…and wanting further change.
A dear friend prompted reflection around this recently, asking:
“If you used your technology in the healthiest way possible today, what, if anything, would you do differently?”
Such an important question – and place of practice. I, for one, am disturbed by changes set in motion by my first iPhone purchase six years back. They have an anxious, scattered flavour – feeding a multitasking, distracted, disconnected self in body, mind and spirit.
The shifts I’ve made to address this have to do with minimizing distraction, “noise” and anxiety…while supporting connection, focus and ease.
Taking a holiday from technology has felt increasingly healthy – and needed.
I don’t own a television and read novels before bed. Staying off the computer and phone during that time, along with keeping lighting soft and low, is huge when it comes to sound sleep.
I minimize bells, whistles and digital “noise” whenever possible: deleting apps on my laptop and phone, turning off sounds and alerts, and simplifying desktop and inbox settings.
Speaking of my inbox…
I uphold a clean division between my personal and business email accounts (and rarely open the latter at night or on weekends).
I follow a “touch-it-once” policy with email – meaning, if I open it, I have to address it right then and there (avoiding the open, close, reopen, close again habit).
I maintain “inbox zero” 90 percent of the time with business email…and 99 percent of the time with personal email.
These simple practices bring tremendous ease.
With email and other online interactions, I keep very few (usually two) tabs open in my browser.
I rarely visit Facebook except to: 1) post a share on my personal or business page, or 2) interact in select groups of primal coaches and health practitioners.
I also rigorously edit any groups, pages, people and newsletters I follow or subscribe to via technology.
Speaking of edits…
I tidy and discard digital files on the regular. This keeps desktop folders and pictures minimal and orderly; same for Asana projects, Evernote stacks, notebooks and to-do lists.
I’m also editing my behaviour – in particular, checking email and Instagram way less. Not taking my phone on errands is an important part of this work in progress.
And you? If you used your technology in the healthiest way possible today, what, if anything, would you do different? I’d love to hear in the comments!