By Ally Kennedy, Founder of AMIGA
Internet, social media, and email drive our personal and professional lives. With all of the good that cyber connection has brought, it also has the consequence of never letting us turn off.
Recently I reached a point where I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was constantly bombarded with messaging from emails, texts, Facebook, Instagram, phone calls, and voicemail. It got to the point that I felt like all I was doing was responding to messages or thinking about my responses. As a result, some of my communications started going down the drain. I forgot to respond to texts or email messages got buried. I began to feel anxious when I opened my inbox and saw the amount of emails in there. I found myself checking my Facebook at red lights just to keep on top of all of the comments and messages. I decided something needed to change. A Cyber Cleanup was in order. Here are a few tips to help you clean up your online life.
1. Delete the Social Media App
You know which social media drains your time and energy the most (for me, Facebook). Delete the app. Without the app you will not get notifications, which means that you will not be checking it constantly. By forcing yourself to log in through your browser, you will be more mindful each time you pull up the page. It gives you a moment to ask yourself, "Do I really need to check this right now?"
When I deleted the FB app, I realized how often I mindlessly scrolled through my phone to open it. I now only check my page one time a day, and it is freeing.
Some people advocate for deleting FB all together but Facebook is an important business tool. I have my firm page plus AMIGA and CIL. I also use the messenger to communicate with virtual staff. I kept the Groups, Messenger, and Pages apps, which I check only when notified.
This one step of deleting the FB app changed my life. Bonus points if you don't save your username and password in your browser.
2. Unsubscribe/ Rollup Email Lists
Unroll.me = Game Changer. This website cleans out your inbox from all of the lists to which you subscribe. Here's how it works:
It searches your inbox to see what email lists to which you are subscribed. For example, Alaska Air deals, Expedia communications, and inspirational emails from people you follow (like Kris Carr, Oprah, etc).
It identifies each email and asks you if you want to either: Keep it In Your Inbox, Unsubscribe, or Add it to the Rollup. The Rollup is a once daily email that has every email subscription in it.
This process is done in about 10 clicks or less. Using Unroll.me helps limit the constant email checking because you will receive less emails. Another great part of Unroll.Me is that it constantly monitors the inbox for subscriptions to add to the Rollup and makes unsubscribing easy. (Since unsubscribing can sometimes be an arduous process.)
3. Be Ruthless in Your Inbox
I am sure I am not alone with having thousands of old emails in my inboxes (personal and professional).
We reason with ourselves that we are going to go back through our emails, or that we are "saving" an email for later. Due to the sheer volume of emails that are saved in the inbox, it is nearly impossible to go back through and peruse the "important" emails we save.
If you have, for example, 2800 emails in your inbox, set a goal of getting to 2500 (or 2000, or whatever is reasonable, but know this process takes time). Then get ruthless. I imagine it like a cyber machete chopping things out of my inbox. Delete, delete, and then delete some more. If there are emails that are truly special or important, create a folder for them and move them out of the inbox. Seeing that number go down is extremely gratifying and freeing. It is akin to decluttering your house, but this also helps declutter your mind.
Once you put these 3 steps into action, you are on your way to getting your cyber life more manageable.
Stay tuned for tips on how to keep your cyber life tidy (post clean up).
Help an AMIGA out… What cyber cleanup tips do you have?
About your Ally in Life, Business and Law:
Alexandra "Ally" Kennedy is a national award-winning attorney and the founder of AMIGA Lawyers and Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law.. After becoming a mother, and in a matter of 3 months, Ally transformed her practice from earning in pesos to earning 6-figures and she is passionate about teaching attorneys how they can do the same. Ally empowers lawyers to be the CEOs of their law firms with her weekly blog, webinars, and conferences where she teaches step-by-step how to do the work they love while running a profitable legal business. Ally lives outside of Seattle with her partner and their 5 children.