Let’s talk about technology. It can be a wonderful thing. Caller ID. Text messaging. The ability to see the faces of friends and loved ones who live far away. Any funny meme that helps you get through the day.
But technology is also full of time sucks and interruptions. Your phone constantly dinging with message alerts. Your email notifications popping up while you are working. Someone commenting on a Facebook or Instagram post.
All of this distracts us from our priorities. We can’t focus on deep work when we’re constantly being interrupted. Or, we think the interruption is a priority so we stop what we’re doing to answer the phone, read the emails, respond to the text messages.
What if you took back control of your time and focus? What if you turned off those notifications, closed the email programs, and didn’t have your phone constantly in your hand or pocket?
I’m going to guess that the world will continue on just fine. It won’t stop spinning. And, you are likely to be more productive and not feel pulled in so many directions!
Here are some more ideas to stop letting tech control you!
- Respond to those messages and calls on your time.
- Have auto-responders for your email stating you received their email and will respond within 24 business hours (or whatever your company requires for responses).
- Have specific times of the day that you sit at your computer and process emails. Block the time on your calendar. Spend that time only processing your emails.
- Turn off all notifications to email, text, etc.
- Turn your phone on silent or leave it in another room when you are doing some deep work.
- Put an analog clock somewhere in your office so you’re not looking at your phone to check the time. Plus, analog clocks give you a better understanding of the passing of time!
What are you going to do this week to stop letting tech control you?
If you want to talk further about better control over your tech, schedule a 30-minute phone call with me! Or read more about multitasking (which you’re likely doing with all those tech interruptions!)
When was the last time you went through and cleaned files, apps, and photos off your computer?
I’ve been working on cleaning
off our computer for the last year. We have thousands of pictures, old files from planning our wedding, old school papers, so many unncessary items. And our computer is old, we’ll likely need to replace it in the next 1-2 years. For me, simply moving files from one computer to the next is like moving boxes from one house to another without seeing what’s inside!
Here are 4 tips for cleaning off your computer.
- Take 15 minutes a day and start reviewing files, deleting those items you don’t need, and making sure everything else is properly labeled and filed for easy access.
- Review any apps or programs that you never use and delete them. They’re just taking up space!
- Make a plan for keeping your files organized in the future. Create folders as you need them. I have a file called ‘Photos to Sort,’ where I put photos I don’t have time to deal with just yet. Once a month, I take a few minutes to go through these photos, delete the blurry ones and file the ones I want to keep.
- Ensure everything is labeled and that the label makes sense. You want to be able to find something when you need it.
Build some time in your schedule to start cleaning off your computer. Even if it’s just 1 hour a week, you’ll keep it organized and uncluttered.
The 2nd Monday in February is Clean Out Your Computer Day. Maybe instead of a day, you need a week or a month. How about spending just a few minutes at the end of each day cleaning off files. Get in the habit of doing this regularly and you can keep your computer clutter free.
Here are a few tips to get you started. (Some of these can apply to your smartphone as well).
- Delete any software or apps that you no longer use.
- Take a look at your computer’s desktop and delete any files you know you no longer need. Last week’s list of errands is probably no longer relevant.
- Go through any folders you’ve created and delete files you no longer need.
- Delete duplicates of any files. Do you really need 4 versions of something? Keep only the most recent.
- Create folders for each person in the house and start putting relevant files into each person’s subsequent folder (if it’s necessary to keep).
- Go through iTunes and delete any music you no longer listen to or want to keep.
- Go through your photos and delete any duplicates, blurry photos, etc.
- Create files for your photos to keep them organized. For example, mine are labeled by year-month-topic (2013-3-Trip to Santa Fe). Use a naming system that makes sense to you.
- Clear out old emails in Outlook or Mail. Archive old emails if you have many you want to keep.
- Go through your contact list and delete duplicates or remove any contact that is no longer useful.
This list should get you started. Schedule some time to back up your computer and get in the habit of cleaning up your computer’s desktop and files on a regular basis. A clutter free computer is a happy computer! If you want some guidance in cleaning out your computer, schedule a call with me or send me a message!
Does your email inbox scare you? Do you check your email and cringe because you have so many unread emails? What do you do when you have to many emails?
Maybe it’s time to declare bankruptcy on your emails. Pick a date, maybe 30 days ago, and delete all emails prior to that date. Or if deleting them seems too scary, move all of them into a folder with a title that makes sense to you (for example: old emails, prior_date_year). This way they’re still searchable if necessary, but they’re not taking up space in your inbox.
Then you can process emails from the last month, making sure to delete or file them as you read or respond. Take a look at the blogs, daily deal emails, or other group emails that you’re getting on a regular basis. Are they relevant to you? Are you reading them or using the deals? If not, unsubscribe. Your time is valuable.
Set up rules for your emails. Maybe you have a favorite blog but only sit down every now and then to read it. Have it sent directly to a specific folder. Then you can go in and read them when you’re ready. This helps keep less important emails out of your inbox.
And try to sit down each day or every few days and process your emails. This means sitting down and responding, deleting, filing, etc. each email. This will help you from having to declare email bankruptcy in the future.
If you want some guidance in sorting out your emails, schedule a call with me or send me a message!