Electronic clutter is a huge problem that we often ignore or feel powerless to control! While feng shui is traditionally applied to physical spaces and objects of a tangible nature, its 2012 and just about time we address the World Wide Web as another space that nearly all of us exist within to some degree. The problem? The Internet is
subtly addictive, fully loaded with ways to get lost in a mire of “surfing” and very easy to access such hoards of information that e-clutter is the new clutter of our age! Before this beautiful LA weekend kicks off, see if I can’t help you (and me!) to get out Internet lives flowing smoothly!
8 Ways To Get A Little More Internet Feng Shui’d!
- Sweep the screens! The staring point for decluttering your internet life is your desktop/ phone screen/ tablet screen. Trash everything extraneous on your desk top, remove everything you don’t need from your bookmarks bar and stored reading lists(Mac users, you know how this can get out of hand quickly!) Make folders (I have a folder for everything!) and sweep documents and data you need into folders regularly. Dump what you don’t need daily as well. This one step will save you a tremendous amount of time!
- Screen savers can actually be super distracting! Try to avoid any hypnotic, moving screensaver and backgrounds, because they can spin your mind into a watery haze which is the opposite of relaxing when you are trying to get things done. If you need water element flow in your life, get a desktop fountain. Keep your screensavers/ desktop images static, non-neon, hopefully great colors and images but nothing that is so intricate or transfixing that you can’t navigate your computer screen & folders
- Delete!!!Delete all Spam from email files and delete all old messages and store what you need to store in email files. People look at me like I have three heads when I say you should create files in your email but if you use email for anything beyond sending little notes to people, make yourself some email files & use them well! An email inbox should not have 2000+ emails in it waiting for you. Pare it down to 5 -50 emails that are “active” or “awaiting response” and file or dump the rest. This feels fabulous!
- Unsubscribe! If you get stuff that you truly don’t know when/where you subscribed, or if someone is truly pushing your buttons with overzealous email newsletters (one person sent me three a day, for three weeks… !!!), etc, UNSUBSCRIBE!!!!! If you love the things you enroll in, keep ’em coming but don’t be afraid to let a few go.
- Merge! Do your best to have no more than 2 email accounts, one work and one personal. Some people have five active accounts. Merge them. Have your blog email go to your work email or personal email. Try to forward your people over to one email. Its intense to keep up with so many accounts, even if you think it’s all “under control.”
- Make a master list! Forgetting your passwords is the fastest way to waste major time and create havoc for yourself. Ever try loving into your checking account online, guessing the password wrong three times then being frozen out? Same for paying bills. I keep a piece of paper well hidden in my office (you won’t find it!) that lists all my passwords, all my accounts, all of it. Of course, you can auto pay your bills, but still keep an eye on them… Nothing is foolproof!
- Use innovation to streamline! Get on iPhoto, Pinterest and Flickr and them to organize your visual ideas and photos. I can’t keep track of all the images, ideas, photos and client inspiration stuff I have flowing around without Pinterest. iPhoto gives me so many ways to control and sort and create albums for all the photos I take… and when I use it, its just BRILLIANT! Flickr for me is more of the same, a simple way for me to group, categorize and refer to images. Just make sure to use these tools to make LESS rather than MORE clutter problems for yourself!
- Be picky with your social media, selective with what you join online as a forum. While some people are lost without certain social media outlets (myself included!), and while I encourage everyone to try out all new things, don’t spread yourself too Internet-thin unless you have a professional assistant or social media guru helping you with your life! Find the right forums for you, for your business and interests and start there with quality. Too many things too soon to check and update will dilute your ability to focus, scattering your energy in a zillion pieces….!
And, please remember: NOTHING REPLACES ACTUAL SOCIAL INTERACTION!!! If you are spending more time with computers than people, its time to take social breaks with friends, get out more, and be as experimental and zealous with your personal real-life endeavors as you are with your personal computing.
If you have tips, tricks, phone apps or great software that has made your online life run better, I am all ears. I always love to hear from you! Happy de-e-cluttering! xoxo Dana