How to Maintain Digital Hygiene: Tips from My Experience

How to Maintain Digital Hygiene: Tips from My Experience

I recently came across the term "digital hygiene," and it caught my attention because I spend a lot of time working on my phone and laptop. When my kids come home from school, I try to be off my phone and fully present, but it's a daily struggle, especially when I haven't finished everything I needed to do earlier in the day.

Yes, we've tried different strategies, like not keeping our phones in the bedroom at night and setting boundaries, but we often slip back into old habits. I think it's important to keep adapting to fit our lifestyle.

While I'm not much of a TV watcher, I do enjoy binge-watching series on Netflix. However, most nights, I find myself on my phone, listening to podcasts, learning from YouTube, or saving ideas on Pinterest for my next creative project, like DIY-ing a cement table. I usually do this with my earphones in, so a strict "no cellphone in the room" rule doesn't quite work for me.

We're glued to our devices daily, almost all day! Much of our work now happens on our phones; Dylan has almost entirely switched from his laptop to his cell phone, doing about 90% of his work there. It's crazy how things have changed! This shift in how we work is why I'm currently revamping our office from a traditional setup with desks and chairs to a more flexible space with a round table and casual seating. (I'll share more on this later.)

When I first heard about digital hygiene, it resonated with me because my inbox was overflowing, I followed hundreds of accounts on Instagram, and my phone had over 90,000 photos, all jumbled up.

I started researching digital hygiene and found many creators talking about it. I've implemented some methods that have improved my workflow, and I'd like to share a few that I've found helpful with you.

Email Hygiene

One thing I've done recently is stay on top of my inbox. I realized I was subscribed to way too many newsletters and marketing emails that cluttered my inbox. To clean it up, I've used the unsubscribe feature, now visible in the subject line of all promotional emails in Gmail.

Email Hack 1:

In the search bar, I type "unsubscribe," and all promotional emails and newsletters I'm subscribed to pop up. I can unsubscribe right from the subject line, saving me from digging through emails to find the unsubscribe button at the bottom. Now, I'm only subscribed to a few valuable resources each month that I can't wait to open and get value from.

Email Hack 2: I avoid starting my day with checking emails, as it can consume a lot of time. Instead, I set a specific time, usually just before lunch, to tackle my emails. When I open an email, I respond immediately if possible. If it requires more time, I mark it for later when I have the time to dive into it.

The goal is to have an empty inbox by the end of each day, which is great for my peace of mind knowing I've responded to everything that needs attention.

Social Media Hygiene

Hack 1:

On Instagram, I've streamlined who I follow on my business accounts. I used to follow a mix of personal, work, and industry accounts, but I've unfollowed almost everyone except those relevant to my business. For example, on my photography page, I only follow accounts that add value to my photography business. This also helps the algorithm understand my interests and push relevant content my way.

Hack 2: Instead of following dozens of accounts I never interact with, I enable notifications for important accounts I want to stay updated with. This way, I get updates without cluttering my feed.

General Digital Hygiene

Digital hygiene is an ongoing process because our lives revolve around technology. We're constantly downloading new apps and using different platforms for work and personal use. A few years ago, I had a full-time editor and designer using programs like InDesign and Adobe Suites. Now, most of my work is done on my cell phone using mobile editing apps, design apps, and AI tools.

Maintaining digital hygiene helps me manage this digital overload better. If you're feeling overwhelmed by digital clutter, try these methods to keep your digital space clean and efficient.

By implementing these simple practices, you can improve your digital hygiene and create a more organized and productive work environment.

Thanks for reading, and I hope these tips are helpful to you!

x o


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