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About That Clutter You Don’t See – How to Deal with Virtual Clutter

computer and tabletBy Lisa Janusz

It’s a technological world we live in. You can access information within seconds by using a few keystrokes. Although the world is far more “paperless” than it was several years ago, it didn’t stop the clutter. Instead of having piles of papers on your desk, they’re now electronic files on your desktop. Or buried away as emails in your inbox.

Even though you can’t physically see it, it’s still affecting your energy. Take for instance an unsorted inbox. When you open it in the morning and see there are 603 messages (even if only 45 of them are new), it’s immediately overwhelming. These are reminders of things to do, follow up on, sort and file.

From a Feng Shui perspective, that energy could be dragging you down. It could be contributing to feelings of being stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed. In much the same way that you deal with physical clutter, you have to deal with the unseen, technological clutter as well.

Here are a few ideas on how you can start the process.

  1. Utilize the number 9. (It’s an auspicious number.) Deal with 9 things a day for 9 days. File or delete 9 emails, sort and file 9 photos or re-evaluate 9 files.
  2. Get your inbox under control. Set an end-of-day limit for the number of emails. I’m committed to 99. If there are more, start scrolling to see what can be filed, responded to and deleted before you log out.
  3. There’s no time like the present. If you can respond to something immediately, do so. Especially if it takes less than 2 minutes.
  4. Look at what you’ve invited. If you have a bunch of subscriptions, it’s time to evaluate! If you’ve fallen behind, don’t review each one, sort by sender and delete all but the most recent email.
  5. Organize your photos. Put a reminder in your calendar to download your photos each month. Set aside some time after to create folders and sort them.
  6. Customize a process for you. Figure out your own personal system to deal with technological clutter and stick to it.

No matter where we turn, there’s the potential for clutter! If you are feeling the effects, prioritize dealing with it. You never know what awaits you once you have the room to receive it, email or otherwise.

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