Digital minimalism. How to rid your brain of unnecessary information

There are a lot of articles on the Internet about digital minimalism and dopamine fasting (in fact, digital minimalism is a part of it), but I would like to offer the reader one more opinion, my own, which may seem curious.

In my understanding, digital minimalism is the ability not to litter your computer/smartphone/laptop with unnecessary information, and also not to litter your brain with it.

Right now, you can do a simple experiment. Scroll through the list of apps on your phone, and I'm 99% sure you'll find an app that you haven't even opened since you downloaded it. My application was Quitzilla, with the help of which I developed good habits in myself (not advertising). It is worth getting rid of such garbage.

It's also important to keep order in your head. For example, remember when you woke up and immediately went to the shower or brush your teeth without checking the notifications on your phone that came during the night (for me, it is - Reddit). I always scroll through my Reddit feed for about ten minutes before getting out of bed. Digital minimalism will help with this.

These habits are not only bad for productivity (I'm not going to teach anyone to be productive - that's everyone's business). Such habits are also bad for our morale. It used to always piss me off when I couldn't find the latest version of my project in all that trash on the desktop, or when the bios takes longer than two seconds to load, it's a disaster for me.

I would say that digital minimalism is fashionable to follow by following simple three steps.


Get rid of Unused Applications

I assure you, there will be just a mountain of them. The point is even in the unused memory of the device, but in the fact that the mess on the desktop leads to a loss of attention and concentration. For convenience, you can first break absolutely all applications and downloaded programs into thematic folders.

If you are a programmer, then it is best to divide all scripts and projects by dates. This will make it easier to navigate and find something.

For example, on my desktop there is only one folder, which is called "All", where I store, as you might guess, everything. And already in this folder all my projects are stored by year (that is, the folders "2022", "2021" and "2020"). In turn, each folder corresponds to its own month ("January", "February", and so on). And only in these folders, I store all my documents, scripts and projects.

Having sorted all your documents in this way, a bunch of unnecessary things will pop up outside, which you want to instantly get rid of. You'll find old versions of drivers, programs you no longer use, or text documents from ten years ago.

Much easier with a smartphone. In every modern device, you can view rarely used applications. You can safely delete them according to the list, and if it’s a pity to delete some, because you used them all once, then feel free to delete them. If for the whole year you have used it for a year, then it is hardly worth keeping it for another whole year to use it.

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Drop all Photos

A computer or smartphone is a device that must process information, not store it. Yes, of course, even in modern smartphones you will not surprise anyone with 250 GB of memory and this is enough to store photos from the party that was 5 years ago forever, but you don’t need it.

When was the last time you scrolled to the bottom of a gallery on your phone? That's it. (that time when there was no network and there was nothing to do - it does not count).

I do not call for deleting all personal information, but only throwing it on an external drive or cloud (if there are not so many files or if you don’t feel sorry for the funds to subscribe to any cloud storage).

Now there are a lot of external drives for several terabytes. It seems to me that this is quite enough to store pictures from your childhood.

As for the cloud - there is a great choice. Most cloud companies have free storage (usually 10 GB). If you are willing to pay a few bucks every month for a cloud space, then everything is in your hands. I would recommend MEGA cloud storage (no ads). They are reasonably priced and have never let me down.

Use Web Counterpart

A very simple rule.

I've never understood people downloading apps to convert one file extension to another when there are websites specially made for it.

I never understood people downloading the desktop version of Slack when you can just log in through your browser and create a bookmark in the browser.

I never understood people who download the full package of MS Office, when each software product has its own web counterpart, even better than the desktop one (I'm talking about Google Sheets, Slides, and so on).

The rule is very simple - before you download something, google and see if you can do what you need through the browser. With a 90% probability, this can be done online.

Conclusion

I have listed very simple but effective steps. By tidying up your workplace, you will increase your efficiency, be more calm, and also save your device and it will last you much longer. So, following these three simple rules, I am writing this text on an old 2011 MacBook Air, which, of course, is no longer as productive as in 2011, but it works at the limit of its capabilities.

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