On my blog, I share what takes me closer to my goal to live a simply elegant life. However, the picture would be incomplete without taking the digital side of it into consideration. Why? Because our digital world continuously expands and takes over large parts of our everyday lives. Hence, it absolutely makes sense to apply the same principles here as well. I hope this week’s post will inspire and support you, making your ‘second life’ simple and elegant.
Create a Simply Elegant Digital Life in 3 Steps
- Declutter and simplify.
- Add value.
- Keep it elegant.
Step 1: Declutter and Simplify
The way to a simply elegant digital life starts – you can surely guess – with decluttering. The thing with digital clutter is that it silently accumulates without us even noticing. When (physical) stuff piles up, at some point, it gets in our way. So we can no longer deny it’s there. However, it takes a lot longer until digital clutter makes you feel overwhelmed and less productive. When we tackle digital clutter too late, though, it costs us a lot of time and effort to get it under control. Typical examples are excess digital files, photos, apps, and overflowing emails.
After we got rid of everything we no longer need, the next step is to establish new routines to simplify and better manage our digital experience. As a result, we stay organized for good and increase our productivity.
If you wonder how to get all this done, these posts can help. They provide more in-depth tips for different areas of your digital life:
- How to Declutter Your Inbox and Reduce Email Stress
- Declutter and Better Organize Digital Files in 5 Steps
To gain a broader overview, refer to my post on how to live a decluttered life. This comprehensive guide explains 5 reasons why it’s worth it to declutter and shows 5 different ways to do so (KonMari plus 4 other decluttering methods). The article also dives deeper into decluttering specific areas like your personal belongings, home, and workplace. And I added tips on how to deal with mental clutter and which new habits can help maintain a decluttered life over the long run.
Step 2: Add Value
I’m convinced that everything we invite into our lives must add value – otherwise, we don’t need (love) it. This applies, of course, not only to tangible goods. It’s also relevant when deciding for or against digital devices, social platforms, and apps.I’m convinced that everything we invite into our lives must add value – otherwise, we don’t need (love) it. Click To Tweet
However, it can be challenging to find out what adds value to our digital life and what doesn’t. When in doubt, a digital detox can help – just like Cal Newport suggests. It allows you to start over and set up your digital experience to work best for you. Refer to this post for more information:
I think it’s relatively easy to decide if a device, gadget, or app serves you when they target your productivity. You just have to analyze if it does help or hinder you from getting tasks done. When it comes to entertainment, it’s a bit more challenging to see what adds value and what doesn’t. Hint, mindlessly scrolling your social media feed most likely doesn’t.
Still unsure what to invite into your digital life? Try this simple decision tree with basically only two options. Either something serves and supports you, e.g., increases your productivity, helps you to grow. Or it uplifts and entertains you. If none of it applies, you can probably skip it.
So when it’s so easy, why do we too often hold on to what makes us feel overwhelmed, stressed, upset or sad? Maybe it’s because we’re not aware of it. Hence, take a closer look, especially at your social media life:
Step 3: Keep It Elegant
I think this happens to be quite a controversial topic. Obviously, a large group of people feels that etiquette is unnecessary or a thing of the past. It makes me sad to see, for instance, what kind of comments fellow bloggers have to deal with every day. If I had only one wish, I’d wish that all people treat each other with respect and kindness. In my opinion, this attitude towards others is key to living a simply elegant life – no matter if on- or offline. We should be aware of the impression we make, e.g., through our social media profiles, and how we connect and communicate in the digital world.
Here are some rules I think we all should follow:
- Be respectful. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online either.
- Don’t post or share what’s inappropriate. Remember, you can’t take it back, and the internet never forgets.
- Be careful with humor and sarcasm. Today we have the great opportunity to connect with people worldwide. From my experience, though, humor and sarcasm don’t translate very well.
- Be forgiving. Not everyone is a pro in written language and knows all the rules.
Creating a Simply Elegant Digital Life – How to Get It All Together
To create a simply elegant digital life, we should be very selective. Even though many things in the online world are for free, we should ‘shop’ mindfully. Give it an extra thought before opening up an account, downloading a document, or installing a new app. Not all of it is worth your time and attention. We simply don’t need everything, and not everything adds value to our lives. Still, the online world offers wonderful opportunities to learn, grow, and connect. We should use those elegantly and respectfully.
If you like the ‘less, but luxe’ idea, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more tips and inspirations. And don’t forget to join my email list to receive weekly updates plus content that’s exclusively available to my readers.
How do you organize your digital life? Is etiquette or elegance important for you in terms of online communication? Share your thoughts!