6 Tips to Declutter Your Technology Life in 2015

technology overloadThough losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution, getting organized is the second most popular. If you’ve already cleaned out your closets, car, kitchen cabinets and home office, maybe it’s time to get your technology act together. And as a bonus, if you’re staring at your smartphone or laptop less often, you’ll have more time to tackle all those other New Year’s resolutions, like volunteering more, learning something new and helping others achieve their dreams. From excess apps to emails to social media, declutter your technology life with the tips below.

Skip social media. Are you spending too much time checking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Periodically take a week- or month-long social media break, defriend or unfollow people, companies and accounts that you’re disconnected from and deactivate social media accounts you never or rarely use.

Clear out app clutter. The saying goes, “If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year, toss it.” The same goes for any apps on your phone, said the New York Times in an article on decluttering your smartphone. Go through your phone for any apps you may have downloaded for a conference or single-use purpose, and get rid of them.

Move photos and videos to the cloud. Take advantage of free online storage drives such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and free up valuable storage space in your phone by moving old photos and videos to the cloud. Keep a few that you view often on your phone while still being able to access the old ones.

Organize your email. It sounds daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. First, delete the emails – from your inbox, sent and/or trash folders – that you never need or want to see again. Second, file or archive your remaining emails into folders, said a Forbes article on organizing your inbox. Then create a system for following up on emails, with color-coded flags and labels or by separating emails into folders.

Get a handle on junk mail. Are you wasting time deleting the same old shopping emails that you signed up for years ago? Go through your junk mail and email newsletter subscriptions and unsubscribe from most of them, keeping only the most important ones. You might save money if you’re not tempted to shop.

Limit the time you spend on emailing. The Harvard Business Review advised to set an email budget, where you don’t check your email every time you receive an email notification; instead, check your email for 10 minutes every hour, focusing on the emails that matter most. If you can, set email boundaries, such as vowing to not check your email during certain hours, such as two-hour blocks during the workday, or during lunch or dinner time. (Except if it's during or near a go-live - then make sure you check your email often!)