Breaking Up with My Phone: Day 25

Day 25 is all about cleaning up the rest of your digital life.

Today, we’re going to continue to tidy up other parts of our digital lives. We’ve already talked about text messages, dating and games, app-blockers, and password managers, so now let’s focus on…

Email

You get too many, and most are unimportant.

  1. Unsubscribe! For the next week, take a moment to unsubscribe to any email you receive from a list you don’t want to be on. Or, if that sounds too complicated, do an internet search for “apps that automatically unsubscribe you from email” and install one.
  2. Save yourself from the tyranny of your inbox. Despite what you’ve trained yourself to believe, you do not actually have to respond immediately to every message in your inbox. Nor do you even have to see them when they arrive. You can do this in a number of different ways, including setting an app-blocker to give you access to your email inbox only during certain times of day, and/or installing a plug-in for your particular browser and email client (such as Chrome and Gmail) that gives you control over how many times you see your inbox, and for how long.
  3. Use folders to keep yourself sane. Create a “Needs Response” folder to store messages that actually require a response (you could even sort them by importance) so that when you do look at your email, you don’t feel overwhelmed by the sight of your entire inbox.
  4. Set up a commerce email account. In other words, create a new email address for yourself that you will use when you buy things. This is a way of keeping unwanted spam email out of your primary inbox while still finding out about sales.
  5. Set up a VIP list of people whose emails you don’t want to miss. Ignore everyone else. Just kidding/ not kidding.
  6. When you’re on vacation, avoid the dreaded email pileup upon your return by creating a new email account. Then set an auto-responder that says not just that you are on vacation and won’t be checking email, but that you won’t be reading the email that accumulates while you’re away. Give the name of someone to contact if people need immediate help, and say that if people really want to talk to you upon your return, they should resend the message to the aforementioned “important” email address (the new one), and that you will respond when you’re back. You will be amazed by how few people actually take you up on this.

Social Media

Ideally, you no longer have social media apps on your phone. But regardless, take a moment to prune your accounts. Unfollow people you don’t care about or whose posts make you feel bad. Create lists of people based on their roles in your life (such as friends, family, colleagues, vague acquaintances) so that when you share a photo of yourself on vacation, you can specify which group of people will see it. If you use social media for your job, consider making a separate professional account. Add something to your profile that indicates how often you’ll be checking it. And if you haven’t already, explore the depths of your social media account settings. There are a lot more options than most of us realize.

Driving

Take advantage of automatic drive modes that disable your phone when you reach a certain speed. (Do an internet search for “drive mode” and your phone model/carrier).

Linked Accounts

A lot of sites now give you the option of logging in using your social media account (such as logging in to Spotify using your Facebook credentials). Do not take them up on this option! And if you’ve already linked your accounts, take the time to begin to separate them (by creating playlists that are independent of your Facebook account, for instance).

If you love this program as much as I do, you should buy the book by clicking the link below:

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