It’s insidious. Just when I think I’m on top of it, I realize the clutter has slowly accumulated to the point that I feel completely buried.
It’s never one big decision, but small, daily choices that get me in these situations.
I’m not talking about physical clutter, but digital clutter. Email stuffed with newsletters and notifications and shopping enticements. Blog readers and podcasts apps and YouTube updates full of information to share. The latest season of this or that on Netflix. Social media overflowing with urgent messages by people who may or may not be “friends.”
All of it nips and nibbles at my attention. With every chime of the phone or extra email clogging my inbox, valuable time and energy are being frittered away.
When those notifications are for messages that urge me to buy, it’s even worse. Suddenly I don’t have to go to the mall to be tempted; the temptation comes right to me.
Even if the content is something interesting, it can still be a source of stress. Now the notifiers are reminding me of all the great/interesting/important information I’m missing out on. Now my unread messages represent opportunities to change my life left to languish.
Like an overflowing closet or a garage that no longer has room for a car, it’s imperative to tackle the information overload in our lives as well. You can choose to do a little at a time or spend an afternoon on a major purging kick. Unsubscribe, delete, log off. Remove the apps that aren’t adding value and the email newsletters that you never get around to.
If you have more than you can use, you have physical clutter. If you bring more information into your life than you can keep up with, you have digital clutter. I chose to spend part of a recent rainy Saturday decluttering my online world. Lets hope it leaves me with the same spacious, calm feeling that a freshly edited closet or garage offer.
More so than our physical space, our time and attention truly are a limited resource. Spending our attention recklessly on bits and bytes that don’t add value to our lives is perhaps just as wasteful as purchasing things we don’t need (or purchasing organization systems to pack more of the stuff we don’t need into a smaller space). What’s worse is that while we can reclaim garage or attic space, time wasted will not come back.
Maybe you can relate?
What’s your favorite way to declutter your online life?