Our physical space impacts us so much. If I am in a cluttered, untidy room I can’t concentrate. I either need to tidy or move to a new space to be productive or to relax.
Cluttered technology does this to us as well. Most of us have smart phones that are meant to make our lives simpler, and to an extent they do, but they also take a lot of our free time away from us.
I think we can all relate to grabbing our phone to check the weather and 20 minutes later finding ourselves mindlessly scrolling through Instagram.
One day a few months ago I found myself so absorbed in my phone that I completely ignored my pets, my partner, and my tea kettle screaming on the kitchen stove. I realized that I had meant to check the time and ended up mindlessly scrolling again.
I had been able to simplify, to give myself time and space to truly live, and I was wasting all that time on my phone! Again, not all screen and phone time is a waste but when you don’t want to spend all of your down time on your phone and you are it’s time to make a change.
So, I decided to declutter my phone.
I realized that being able to see all of my apps the moment I opened my phone took my attention away from what I meant to do and pulled me toward something else. To be more mindful with my phone and to control it (rather than let it control me) I decided to remove the clutter, remove the distraction, and to simplify.
If you’re like most people your home screen looks something like this-
When we open our phone and there is this much going on it’s no wonder we get pulled into multiple apps. Time for a change!
Step 1: Delete the apps that do not spark joy. Similar to the way you declutter your clothes or your kitchenware, declutter your apps! Find the apps that spark joy and that you want to keep and let the rest go. A great exercise can be to not look at your phone, recall all of the apps that you love or need and write them down. Then return to your phone and delete what you could not recall! The good news is if you delete something you need later, you can always download it again. Delete the apps that don’t make you feel good. For example, Facebook makes me sad sometimes. There are things on there that I don’t need to see that bring me down so I don’t keep it on my phone. I can still access it from a desktop if I need to but I don’t need to carry it around with me.
Step 2: Tidy the apps by putting them away. In our homes or our offices we don’t just pull everything out of our cabinets and drawers and leave them all over the house. We clean and tidy by putting them away where they belong. You can do this with your apps as well. Pull the three or four apps you use most frequently into your home bar at the bottom of your screen. Then, create an app folder and move all of the other apps into that folder.
Step 3: Move the app folder to the second page of your phone. Move the folder with all of your apps to the second page of your phone so that your home screen ends up looking something like this-
Step 4: To search for apps when you need them swipe to the left and use the search bar. The search bar will allow you to find apps when you need them without getting distracted by the other apps you don’t need.
Step 5: Use your phone as a tool, don’t let it use you. With a decluttered phone you can use your phone to better your life rather than being distracted and occupied by it. Use your extra time to focus on what is more important to you. For me that’s my pets, my partner, yoga, reading, and meditation.
What is your cluttered phone keeping you from? Let go of the distractions, be present, be here.
“The faster we live, the less emotion is left in the world. The slower we live, the deeper we feel the world around us.” Stanko Abadzic