Last week I talked a little bit about how I was trying to address some burnout. I decided, in my own sense of organizing and list making that definitely doesn’t lead to burnout, to list out some ways to clear digital clutter.
After I made this list I read the latest newsletter from Charlie Warzel, “Confessions of an Information Hoarder“. A lot of the things that he struggles with are similar to my own current or past struggles with information hoarding, including overflowing cloud accounts, crowded folders on my laptop, and reading more and more online while seemingly retaining less.
I won’t admit to the same email burden as Warzel, in part because I’m not an in-demand freelance writer, and because I am devoted to keeping my inbox from becoming too full. Gosh, no wonder technology stresses me 😅
I’ve decided that I want to try to take a little more conscious control over my consumption online. That aforementioned list is basically a list of social media (Twitter, Mastodon), services (email, Trello, Pocket), and sources of content (streaming, RSS, subscriptions) that take up most of my non-work online time. So basically most of my online time.
I feel like I could go too in depth to put it all in a newsletter introduction, so I’m once again thinking of writing a guide to something on my blog to share. If I do I’ll link here in the future. For now I’ve got a few things that I’m trying that maybe you’d want to give a go at:
- Make a list of where you spend your time online. Add to that places that come to you in some way. For instance I get Patreon and Steam notifications that I have to make a specific effort to either limit (unsubscribe from creators/games), or cut out (unsubscribe from those notifications)
- Go through those places, one at a time when you are able, and critically look at what you are doing there. Unsubscribe, unfollow, delete, whatever works. Be judicious in deciding what is actually right for you. I’m still working on this!
- Consolidate things where you can. I check all of my social accounts at the same time, then close the tab when I’m done. I don’t keep apps for them on my phone.
There’s a lot to do from there, but I’m taking it slowly and finding what makes sense for me. I still want a presence online after all, but I’ve realized that most of it doesn’t matter nearly as much as we make it out to.
Have you done anything to work on your information hoarding, or to clean out portions of your digital life? I’m actively seeking more tips to put together a bit of a guide and to get my information overload under control.
If you made it this far, why not share this newsletter with a friend? Or share with me some of the things that you found that you liked this week. Either way, I’m thrilled!