So much of our lives are spent online these days. I really have nothing against the internet, other than I find that it creeps in deeper and deeper like a slow moving dark fog getting in through the tiny crevices and spaces in my life. It becomes all consuming and then my day gets spent playing that never-ending game of whack-a-badge (the badge are those red-encircled numbers that love to sit atop each app and scream for attention). Email, Facebook, Twitter, Two Dots (love puzzles!), #alltheblogs, newsletters... it never ends.
The only way out of this situation for me is to declare internet bankruptcy. I have to substantially reduce the internet interaction and start living life outside of the screen to interact with moving, breathing humans (and dogs!) in a physical 3-D world. And what a beautiful world we live in!! This is different than a digital sabbatical. Im not leaving the internet completely, but rather being very selective in how I use it so that I can spend my time differently.
I find that the holidays are a perfect time to do this. The internet is just full of holiday stuff anyway, and since we all seem to take on even more during the holidays, we forget that in order to do that (and stay sane) is to also let some things slide. So this holiday, I let the Internet slide. Of course, I use the internet for my job. Which means I had to be selective and not allow work to come to a screeching halt. Below are my tips on how to declare internet bankruptcy, yet still be productive.
Quite honestly, productivity in all areas shoots up like a rocket when I do this. Particularly in my self-care regime! Not only was I more productive with self-care, but also getting Holiday tasks done was pretty easy and less frenetic this year! Give it a try and see how you do - leave me a comment and let me know how this works for you.
6 Tips for Declaring Internet Bankruptcy
- Turn off the badges. If you are like me, you may not be able to control the compulsion to play whack-a-badge. So turn them off.
- Remove unnecessary applications. I do this during digital sabbaticals too, but also when trying to reset my slate. So for the last month, Facebook was off my phone!
- Delete unnecessary emails. I have two inboxes in my mail program. Everything with the word unsubscribe goes to an Optional inbox. And then everything else goes into an Essential inbox. I read, reply or take action on Essential daily. Optional, is filled with newsletters, advertisements, etc. So I just marked them all as read (without even looking at them) and archived them all!
- Mark the entire RSS reader as read. I follow a lot of blogs, 200+ of them! A lot of them are for research, inspiration and keeping up on news. I can always search through them later, so I marked them all as read and probably won't open up my RSS for another few months.
- Unsubscribe - I bet there are at least 10 newsletters or promotional emails you are getting that you really don't care about all that much and can unsubscribe from. Go ahead and take 2 minutes to unsubscribe from them. You won't miss them, I promise!
- Quiet Facebook Groups - Facebook groups are all the rage these days for group programs and connecting with others. I find that I belong to a lot of them, so I shortened that list, and then turned off notifications for any of them not related to my work. That made Facebook an easier platform to use this month for sure!