10 easy ways to end digital overwhelm
The challenge: all that incessant digital noise surrounding us can leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts, and uninspired.
The solution: implement a few mindful practices to keep digital overwhelm at bay so we can focus our energy on living the inspired life we’ve been called to live.
We’ve all been there, right?! Mindlessly scrolling through our social feeds, feeling worse and worse about ourselves because we know we should probably be doing something else, and everyone else’s lives look so much cooler, and the world is falling apart, and we are overwhelmed with reminders of the 14 billion expectations everyone else has for us, and, and, and... It’s enough to make you want to throw your phone away and move to a cabin in the woods!
I exaggerate (a little), I know, but digital overwhelm is very real. We are constantly bombarded with so much stuff that it becomes really hard for us to be present and create that inspired life that we all want.
Of course, we can’t just ditch our digital habits altogether, at least not if we want to stay connected with the world. What we need instead are a few ongoing practices to help us keep the digital overwhelm at bay.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the whole digital thing (or just overwhelmed in general), give a few of the following suggestions a try. These are practices that I personally use to help me control my own digital doodling so that I have more time throughout the day, and can think more clearly about and do the things that inspire me.1. Turn off push notifications on your phone and other devices
Do you really need to know every time someone likes your pic on Instagram? Probably not! Minimize the distractions and the constant barrage of nagging buzzes and banners by hopping into your phone settings and turning off notifications for all but your most critical applications.2. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode every night
Set up your phone to automatically switch to Do Not Disturb between 9:00 pm and 8:00 am every night (or whatever hours suit your schedule). The nice thing about Do Not Disturb is that you can still get calls from specific people in case of emergency. If you want to take it one step further, set your phone to Airplane Mode every night so that nothing will disturb you.3. Commit to checking emails and social media only one or two times a day
If your business is online you may need to check in with your email and social media more frequently, but the point is to check in mindfully – and then turn off the program or application. We tend to get caught mindlessly surfing emails and scrolling social and can waste a huge amount of time and energy. Limit yourself to checking in just a couple times a day and you will likely find you have much more time for the things that really matter to you.4. Unsubscribe from a few email newsletters every day
We’ve all got them – email subscriptions that we don’t really care about (or even remember that we subscribed to in the first place). If you don’t enjoy reading it or get some sort of value, why not just click unsubscribe? There is no need to try to tackle every extra newsletter in one sitting – just a few a day is great progress.
Worried about offending the sender? There is really no need. Most likely the individual who sends out the newsletter will never know that you left their list. In fact, they may be grateful to have an unengaged subscriber leave – it costs money to maintain an email list, and paying to send to people who never open or read a newsletter is a waste. So hit that unsubscribe button without guilt.5. Delete old emails
Again, no need to do this all at once. Delete a handful every day, and pretty soon your email inbox will be clear, clean, and manageable. If you have emails that you need to hang on to, like receipts, important exchanges, etc., create dedicated folders to store them away out of sight.6. Unfollow a few social media accounts every day
If they aren’t really friends, don’t inspire you, or serve some purpose – click that unfollow button. There is simply no need to have things cluttering up your feeds that don’t serve any purpose.7. Consider blocking your Facebook feed
If you are a Chrome user, the free News Feed Eradicator for Facebook extension is fantastic! Install it on Chrome, hop over to Facebook, and you will see nothing but an inspirational quote in place of that attention sucking rabbit hole of a newsfeed. Don’t worry, you can still see your notifications and keep up with friends you really want to follow by visiting their personal or business pages.
There is a good chance you have way more apps on your phone than you really need or even want. Take a few minutes to delete any that you don’t use or that tend to distract you more than you like.9. Try connecting with the moment rather than plugging in
Waiting in line? Riding a bus? Hanging out at a coffee shop? Rather than picking up your phone to pass the time, make a decision to stay present and be part of the moment. Engage your senses – look around, listen, observe what’s happening. You might be surprised at how beautiful and engaging the world right here surrounding you really is!10. Unplugged Sundays
Give yourself a real break from emails, social media, and perhaps even everything digital one day a week. A little break once a week is refreshing and creates space and time to really enjoy the present.Bonus suggestion - surround yourself with inspirational reminders to slow down and be present
I’ve found it to be surprisingly helpful to surround myself with little reminders that inspire me to step away from all the digital noise, slow down and be present. I’m fond of inspiring sayings and positive intentions on my desktop, pretty pictures on the walls in our home, and, of course, I love the uplifting home decor over in the shop.
This pretty Be still and know mug is the perfect reminder to let go of the digital overwhelm and rest in this moment.
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All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
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