The concept of minimalism has been around for quite some time, but with the digital age it has taken on a whole new meaning.
It is not easy to achieve simplicity in the world of technology, where everything is moving faster than ever.
The key to being successful in a technologically driven world is to be able to focus on what really matters and get rid of the rest.
What is digital clutter and why it counts too?
Digital clutter covers just about everything that's on your digital devices.
It's the number of apps you have downloaded on your phone, the numerous browser bookmarks, and all media files saved.
This is perhaps the most obvious form of digital clutter that exists in today's world, but it certainly doesn't stop there.
Digital clutter can also be seen when people get new electronic devices to replace their old ones, but don't bother uninstalling unnecessary software before transferring over user data.
Unnecessary files are just another form of digital clutter that needs to go away if you want to experience simplicity in the technological age.
The benefits of minimalism
Minimalism may seem like an unnatural thing in a technology-driven world where more gadgets equal more simplicity.
But this couldn't be further from the truth.
After adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you will notice how much more productive and focused you are on the things that matter.
Some benefits include increased happiness, less stress, better health, improved relationships, etc.
It may take some time to get used to this new lifestyle, but once it sinks in, life will be so much easier.
How not to live minimalism
Just because something is simple and easy does not mean everyone's going to like it.
A few ways you can inhibit your chances of achieving simplicity in a technology-driven world is by uploading everything instead of editing out what's unnecessary;
making decisions quickly instead of thinking it through,
or getting distracted by online activities such as social networks or games after work.
One expects themselves to be effective with their time when they are constantly being distracted by the digital world.
Digital clutter becomes a problem when you have too much of it, and can no longer find what you're looking for because it's buried under a pile of files, photos, videos and any other sort of digital content.
Effects of digital clutter
When you can't find what you're looking for, it usually leads to frustration and when people get frustrated they tend to just give up.
When clutter accumulates on your devices, it takes away focus from the tasks that are most important to you at the moment.
This is because your mind becomes obsessed with finding that missing file or editing a photo instead of thinking about what's really going on in your life here and now.
Productivity reduces, and your mind becomes preoccupied with the clutter instead of what's important.
When you lose focus, it can also take a toll on how you feel and affect your health.
Minimalism and technology don't really go hand in hand, but there are ways to combat digital clutter and live a more minimalist lifestyle:
Don't upload everything –
If something is not worth printing or saving as a hard copy, then why bother uploading it?
Those shots from that party that only 5 people attended may seem like fun memories at first, but chances are they will never get looked at again because no one cares about them.
Digital content has an expiry date too!
Delete apps –
Do you really need Instagram when you have Facebook and Twitter?
Too many unnecessary apps will only take up space and make your phone slow. Delete what you don't use, it's as simple as that.
Be a bookworm –
Physical media does not have an expiry date and if you see something worth reading later on but won't remember where, just save it in a designated folder labeled “Books.” With this method, you can store all the physical books you ever want to read but never find time for at the back of your mind to be dealt with when you're free or done with whatever it is that demands your attention right now. Use tags –
Digital photographs should be tagged so they are easy to search by words such as place and date taken. This way, even if you cannot remember the exact name of the place or date, searching using tags will help you narrow it down.
How can you declutter your digital life?
1. Use a DYI file system – Make the most out of the storage space provided on your devices by creating folders based on keywords such as “work”, “school” and “personal.” In this way, you can easily locate what you're looking for without having to sort through folders stored several layers deep or scouring through pages and pages of photos.
2. Don't convert – Don't bother converting physical books to e-books because opening a bulky pdf on your phone or tablet will be so inconvenient that you'll probably just delete it immediately after reading a few pages. Remember, reading from a screen is not good for your eyesight! Instead, keep all those heavy books in one corner of your room where they won't be in the way.
3. Stop creating montages – If you're someone who saves a lot of photos from social media, then stop! The amount of precious storage space taken up by these montages can be better used to store actual photographs instead. Just transfer all those digital photos to an external hard drive and delete them off your devices for good.
4. Uninstall after use – After downloading a new app or updating an old one, delete it immediately after using it just once so you won't have too much clutter on your phone or tablet which will only slow down the system's performance as well as eat up more memory than necessary.
5. Clean up regularly – Digital clutter is as bad as physical clutter because if not stored safely, even small files can grow to take up valuable storage space.
It's not enough that you clean your phone or tablet once a month. Do it daily so there is no time for little pieces of data to accumulate and overflow your limited memory capacity.
To wrap things up
The digital age has created a whole new set of challenges for minimalists.
With so many distractions available at our fingertips, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive.
our desktops, smartphones and tablets allow us to carry thousands of photos with us wherever we go.
But do we really need all these photos? Is there a way to have the best of both worlds — our digital devices and minimalism?
Minimalism in the Digital Age is not about getting rid of everything, but rather focusing on what really matters.
If you want to be truly successful in this technological age, you have to get rid of anything that's unnecessary or at least clutter your lifestyle with it.
The key takeaway here is that minimalism is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but once you get used to it life will become so much easier for you.