My guess is you probably came across this article while scrolling Pinterest or Facebook on your phone, and while I love that you’re here (hello, you guys keep me afloat), I can’t help but talk about something that will dramatically improve your life… or at least your day.
This is a 7 Day Digital Detox Challenge, and what that means is that for 7 days you’re going to make the effort to start decluttering your phone, and then you’ll move on to Part 2 to start detoxing from it.
Detox doesn’t mean you have to quit Facebook or Pinterest or your phone.
It just means you’ll ease up on it for a few days and see what kind of life happens to you without those red notifications and digital stressors breathing down your neck all day.
Customize this bad boy to fit your needs, and declutter your phone as often as possible until you can break your phone addiction (because let’s admit it, we’re all a little addicted to our phones).
Alright, let’s get started.
First, Why Should We Detox?
30 minutes without my phone took me from overwhelmed to peaceful.
But it wasn’t just the lack of a phone. It was being present. It’s always the act of being present that bring me joy, whether that be while I’m with my kids or husband, or just noticing the breeze outside.
It’s watching the way my youngest runs her fingers across my chest while she nurses. It’s seeing how big and beautiful and innocent my daughter’s eyes are, and seeing her understand a new concept such as kindness. It’s the eye crinkles my husband gets when I’ve made him laugh.
It’s being present.
That’s why you need a digital detox and that’s why you need to declutter your device.
When you get on social media and just scroll with no purpose or reason, all you’re doing is losing time with those around you, communicating disinterest, and showing a lack of respect.
Am I saying you should never scroll? Psh NOPE.
I’m saying it’s good to make an effort to be more present with your people, which is why you should make some time every now and then to declutter your phone.
(If you want to know why doing a digital detox is important to me, my biggest reason can be foundhere.)
Days 1-7: Declutter Your Phone
Before you can begin digitally detoxing, you need to address the notifications, stress triggers, and messy bits of your digital life.
Day 1: Facebook
Set a timer for 5 minutes and simply scroll your newsfeed. Unfollow or unfriend every single person that irritates you, stresses you out, or annoys you. (I realize sometimes this could include family members. Just unfollow those people. It will keep them out of your newsfeed without starting any family drama.) STOP SCROLLING when your timer goes off.
Look through your groups. Leave any groups you don’t regularly check. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably in way too many groups and you didn’t know about half of them. Get out of all of those old direct sales party groups, shopping groups (especially if you don’t shop from their website), and random groups you don’t know how you ended up in.
Change your notification settings so that you are only receiving the notifications you truly want to receive.
Go through your pages and unlike anything that doesn’t directly impact you.
Organize your saved posts into files to make things easier to find later on.
Scroll through your friends list and unfriend people that you don’t need to keep in touch with.
P.S. – You don’t have to announce to the Facebook world that you’re clearing out your list. If that’s your thing, go for it, but I’ve found that quiet decluttering is far easier and less dramatic.
Day 2: Pinterest
Delete old boards you don’t care about anymore.
Go through the boards you have left and delete any old pins that don’t interest you or are no longer pertinent.
Change your notification settings so you only receive the really good stuff.
Day 3: Any other social media accounts (take an extra day to do this if you need it)
Clear all notifications.
Change your notification settings.
Purge people that don’t inspire you.
Do whatever is necessary to clean up your social media accounts so that they no longer cause you stress or irritability.
Get rid of anything that causes you stress, unhappiness, anger, sadness, or irritability. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to someone else’s “perfect life,” it may be time to unfollow them.
Day 4: Email
Throw on a movie you’ve seen ten thousand times and scroll your email inbox.
Deal with the emails that need to be dealt with.
Delete trash, spam, irrelevent, and unnecessary emails.
Unsubscribe from as much as possible to keep your inbox clear and free from digital clutter.
Day 5: Apps
Go through each folder and app in your phone and delete every app you don’t use. (*Special note: If you ever want your deleted apps back, go to your App Store > Account > Purchased, and simply reload the app.)
Organize the rest into folders such as “Social Media,” “Entertainment,” “Food,” “Photography,” to make finding the remaining apps easier. A clean home screen will help minimize stress and distraction each time you open your phone.
Get rid of existing notifications and change notification settings so that the angry red circle isn’t staring at you all day every day.
Day 6: Notepad
I don’t know about you, but I use my Notepad app for everything, so occasionally I have to go throw and delete 50 grocery lists and random notes.
Go through each note and decide if it’s necessary.
Condense important notes into one master note.
Delete all old and unnecessary notes.
Day 7: Photos and Music
It’s time to get your 10,000 photos cleared off of your phone and stored safely in the cloud, computer, or external hard drive.
Take time to delete the pictures you don’t want or need (Because you really don’t need 100 selfies with your ice cream cone – Pick your favorites, delete the rest).
Organize them into files in your storage of choice.
Adjust This Plan to Fit Your Needs
Some of these areas may take you 10 minutes to clear up, others may take you a couple days.
Hack away at it consistently and the results will come.
Maybe you need a challenge to help you stay accountable with a list of day-to-day goals to accomplish, or maybe you just need help getting rid of the distractions and all of those stupid little red notifications.
Maybe you need to delete 4,730 emails from your inbox.
Whatever it is, it’s finally time to do it. It’s time to declutter your phone, minimize the digital distractions, and spend time with your people.