I recently cleaned up my digital life and I can’t tell you how freeing it is! The first time you clean things up online may take a lot of time, but it is SO worth it! Most of these things are self explanatory and not that mind blowing, however, when was the last time you did all of these things?! 🙂
Here’s what I did to regain time in my day.
1. Set phone to do not disturb during school hours.
If there is one piece of advice, this is it! I can’t believe how much smoother our day goes having do not disturb on until 2 pm every day. I set the expectation for my friends and clients by letting them know of my schedule. My custom voice message on my phone says “I am doing school until 2 pm and will call you back after that time”. My official office hours are 2pm-8pm. As a wedding photographer, my clients like that they can call me at night after work, so the schedule works well. There are still plenty of times that I check my phone and connect with people before 2 pm, but it’s at MY discretion when I know it won’t interfere with our school rhythm.
2. Remove yourself from Facebook groups. Even groups you are semi-active in.
That’s right. You heard me. Remove yourself from the drama. I have a major confession: I removed myself from the Classical Conversations Facebook group. dun-dun-duuuuuhn! I realized that I spent more time confused by the thousands of different opinions than getting actual help. I would give my two cents, but it was lost in the crowd. I was neither being served or serving others in a way that was constructive conversation. The same five Q&As would go round and round every other week with little admin help; so I left the group. Just because it didn’t serve me, doesn’t mean it won’t be useful to you. Just like certain things in life are hepful for a time and then you move on, so it goes for Facebook Groups. Remove the temptation to get emotionally involved or mindlessly scrolling.
I encourage you to take time to look through every single group you are in and ask yourself these questions:
- What is my emotional state after 10 minutes in the group?
- How has my participation in this group benefited my life?
- Am I a helpful and useful contributor to the group? Do people value my opinion here?
After asking myself these questions, I left a total of 15 groups. A couple of the groups I knew would be obvious that I left. I let the admin know “hey, I love you guys, but I am slimming down my online presence! All the best!”. It was a little longer than that, but I felt good about leaving some local groups after connecting with the main person. They were all very understanding.
I am still a member of 20 groups!
3. Unsubscribe from email lists. It’s more than just because it’s time consuming.
This takes a lot of time to unsubscribe, but the last thing you need is a notification of another sale at Old Navy. More than it being time consuming and a distraction to your day, more often than not, a cluttered inbox means important emails gets missed. Don’t let junk email from things you subscribed to clutter up your inbox so you miss the important emails. I used to be the President of a co-op. I can’t tell you how often a mom didn’t see an important email about co-op… but every time a mom was upset that she didn’t know something, sure enough, she’d email back saying she found the email amidst the clutter.
4. Mute Stories or Posts from people you still want to follow but don’t want to see every time you get online.
Did you know you can mute stories or posts on Instagram just like you can unfollow but still be friends with people? I have a few accounts that I want to look at now and then, but don’t need to see aalllll their stuff. It’s hard to want want to watch entertaining or beautiful things, but I had to stop the scrolling madness. Some people I follow because of stories and others I follow because of their posts. Decide which one serves you and mute the other!
5. Unfollow Instagram and Facebook accounts to allow social media to get boring in the best way possible!
You are probably saying “Well, duh. Of course unfollow accounts.” and yet I see my friends are following over a thousand accounts!! Think about it: if you visited each account for 30 seconds one day a week, that’s 500 minutes/8.3 HOURS a week, over an hour a day of purely consuming social media. I know you are never going to watch every single account you follow every week, but it’s just another thing that adds up. It reminds me of the 10 pairs of jeans in my closet that I think I will wear again some day. ha!
Getting rid of all those accounts will make your feed “boring” after a while and make you want to get offline. Why boring? Because you’ve seen all the new stuff you wanted to see. I follow 300 accounts at the moment and that’s about three times the amount I’d like to. However, I don’t have a personal Instagram account. My account is for this Modern Homeschooler Page. Most of those 315 are businesses that I am networking with or an account that specifically helps me in my homeschooling day. Every few months I go through who I am following and unfollow. This keeps things fresh and applicable.
6. Set phone to only get emails twice a day or when you manually check it.
I used to have my email auto refresh every 15 minutes. I was worried that I would need to respond right away to something. I think it was the new business owner in me. I’d respond, but sometimes it would send me down a trail as I tried to help a bride find a vendor she was looking for or whatever. I now know that responding same working day- even if it’s five hours later is still professionally acceptable. If you are a working mom, you may need to set your emails to more frequently than twice a day. Make sure to do what is professionally acceptable in your industry. If you don’t work, it’s still socially acceptable to wait a day to respond to an email. If they wanted a quicker answer, they would have text.
I hope these tips help you simplify your social life! Do you have any to add?