A technology detox can do wonders before the new year begins. You can simplify the technology in your life to discover more free time, have clearer focus without distractions, and find a renewed appreciation for the world around you. All it takes is setting aside time to do some basic technology updates to your phone and other gadgets. Then, come January, you’ll have a fresh start.
Start your mission to simplify technology with your smartphone, as it’s probably the device you use the most. Remove any apps you don’t need with the precision of decluttering expert Marie Kondo. Do you have three weather apps because they kept releasing different baby animal versions? Delete all but your favorite one.
Take the time to organize or consolidate apps by type, as well. Group apps by text or chat, social and camera, finance and banking, health and fitness, and work-related stuff. Create folders, too, so that the apps you don’t use on a daily basis take up less screen space.
Finally, double-check your notification settings. Do you need push notifications on everything? Facebook and Instagram can be deadly to productivity—your best bet is to look twice a day instead of at every chime. If you have to reach for it every time, at least keep it handy at hip level with a stylish cross-body purse like COACH’s Phone Crossbody in Smooth Leather.
Turbo-charge your email with a few technology updates. Start by downloading an extension that requests read receipts or will remind you when you don’t get replies, like Boomerang. If you use Gmail, the Mark As Read extension in Google Labs is crucial for decimating overwhelming volume. Check your settings to enable forwarding from multiple addresses to your primary email for ease of replying, too.
Set up your cloud apps like photo storage, creative suites, and more to connect across all of your devices. Check passwords and ensure they’re still secure, especially if you use a cloud app to find missing devices. If you work with others in creative suites, talk to them about setting up bridges, so you can collaborate easier. Google Docs and Sheets offer support for this, so you might want to consider moving important projects there.
Desktop or Tablets
Clear space on your desktop computers and tablets by using applications that erase duplicate files, clean out caches, and uninstall unused software completely. A good option, like CleanMyMac, will include maintenance scripts that don’t require you to be an IT whiz. Just follow the prompts and enjoy a faster computer.
Clear Your Energy Near Devices
Pair a mental cleanse with your technology detox. Your mind is probably already clearer from the steps listed above, but it can give you an extra boost to add green, air-purifying plants, like Peace Lily plants, around desktops or smart TVs. You could also try crystals, like black tourmaline. The science isn’t totally there on this one, but anecdotally, people report it being a fun mood booster for a technology detox.