I've reached the point where I need to take action to control my digital life. As technology marches forward, I find myself struggling to manage the constant flow of data. Here are some of the strategies I am implementing.
- Radically reduce e-mail — Every day, I unsubscribe from at least one or two e-mails. I would like to continue receiving some of this content but no one can seem to control their volume or frequency. My basic rule of thumb is that I will unsubscribe from any organization that sends out e-mail on a daily basis. It's impossible to produce quality content on a daily basis so that's why I'm trimming the list. I'm simply spending too much time reading e-mail so it's got to go.
- Eliminate push notifications - I am resetting my preferences to no longer receive notifications from social media sites. I don't need to be notified every time someone posts on Facebook, Google+, or Pinterest.
- Set a social media schedule— I'm setting strict time limits for using social media. Otherwise, they can suck up too much of my free time. I think that 30 minutes a day is plenty. That will include Facebook, Pinterest,Google+, and LinkedIn.
- Establish tech-free time — I've designated Sunday as a tech-free day until 6:00 p.m. I will use no technology including phones, computers, and tablets until Sunday evening when I get prepared for the upcoming week. I'll go to church, read the NY Times (print edition), play guitar — basically do anything that doesn't involve technology. It's my time to get off the grid.
I've just started to implement these strategies and hope they will lead to less stress, more creativity, and better productivity. Stay tuned for an update.