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Digital Minimalism

Technology came into our lives to make our daily lives easier, however, sometimes everything becomes too overwhelming and overtakes us without us even realizing it.

It has been a huge challenge for me to make peace with technology and everything that revolves around it: social networks, online classes, news, constant updates, communicating with our loved ones, etc.

Sometimes, I feel an obligation with myself to check all my social media notifications so I don't see that insistent little number in red that pops up with every new notification, and that's when I ask myself, should I really invest my time in watching this? Little by little I have been building a balance with my digital world, trying to be highly efficient during the time I use each of my devices to prioritize what is really important.

If you can relate, read on to learn, as I have, about this balance.

What is digital minimalism?

Wanting to be always up to date with the latest update on social networks about the latest trends or our email inbox or whatsapp messages or all the stories of people close to us or your favorite influencer generates a mental load that can be quite tiring. Being always focused on being constantly updated in a virtual world we end up disconnecting ourselves from what is our real environment.

A few days ago I forced myself not to pick up my cell phone while riding in the car and I was able to admire how beautiful my city was, but above all my present. This event changed my perspective and I decided to do something about it.

The efficient use of our technologies consists of assigning each of your devices a task, and beyond feeling it as an obligation, you feel the tranquility that with this tool will facilitate the path to your goals, whether it is your next project, a thesis, making a sale, your venture, etc.

I strongly advise you to have all your devices ready to NOT DEPEND on them. Sometimes we have very precious photos and important messages on our phone and that is precisely what makes us treasure our cell phone/laptop so much when really... you can do without it. This also has the advantage that, if you were to lose a device, you would only lose something material.

Nowadays, these technological tools drive our work and our performance and they were created precisely for that purpose. I don't want to come here and force you to hide under a rock.

It's all about balance.

What is the way forward?

You probably have so many things on your cell phone/tablet/computer that it may be causing a lot of noise and just taking up precious memory space.

Here are some tips that will help you minimize your technological side so you can turn all your devices into a real tool and not a time constraint:

1. Constantly purge your devices

At the end of each week I usually back up my college papers to Google Drive. I also back up any important photos I have taken during the week such as family photos or photos with friends. After I make sure I've backed everything up, I purge the memory of each device.

For my laptop, I have an app called Mem Reduct that helps me delete everything that is a cache file and at the end I clean the recycle garbage can. For my cell phone, I simply delete the folders where you store what you delete. I also delete whatsapp chats that I no longer need and applications that are no longer needed.

2. Assign tasks for each device

It is important that each device has tasks assigned to it because each one provides different features that help us to make our work easier. For example, my cell phone is my tool for creating content on social networks but I edit all my designs and each of the posts I write for my blog on my laptop, and my iPad I use it for certain university designs but more for watching series and reading books. This helps me a lot because, if I'm on my laptop, I already know what tasks I have to perform and so I avoid procrastinating and losing the final goal.

3. Set limits on applications

Create time limits on social networks. Every week I get a notification of the average time I use my cell phone and it makes me wonder how, if I had taken better advantage of those 4 or 5 hours a day, I could have finished the tasks that I thought "I didn't have enough time to do it". Creating limits of 30 minutes or 1 hour for social networks daily will greatly decrease your screen time and will also make you more conscious of what you invest your time in.

4. Organize your devices

It is important that we always have in sight what we have stored on our devices. Who hasn't had a lot of downloaded applications or programs that they don't even use, or don't even know how they got there. Take the time to review and delete each of these programs that do not work or contribute and only saturate the space of our device.

5. Style and customize your devices

Something that helps me a lot to be more calm and focused on my tasks is to customize my devices. Choosing wallpapers that evoke tranquility or good memories helps me a lot. In my case, my cell phone is an iPhone and the fact that I can customize my cell phone with phrases and colors that represent me makes me feel more fulfilled and productive.

6. Cancel subscriptions and delete emails as spam and social media

It is well known that email storage generates a huge carbon footprint, so getting into the habit of deleting emails you don't need from your inbox can make a big difference. Take the time to delete subscriptions to monthly newsletters or accounts (you'll find the option at the bottom of the email) and avoid more spam or social email. This also helps you not to lose the mail that really matters because more than once I have lost very important emails to other inboxes that I have not found because of so much publicity.

7. Enjoy the present

Finally, remember that dependence on electronic devices consumes us daily. Give yourself some daily time for yourself free of technology. You can create the habit of reading a book, prepare a recipe, meet someone to talk and visit a coffee shop or just be with your family or walk your dog. We must have these times of disconnection to connect with life and with ourselves.

Let's make technology something healthy and enriching instead of something that detracts and drains our energy.

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