Decluttering Your Digital Life

Do you ever open Facebook, or Twitter, or your inbox and immediately regret doing it?

So much of the stuff circulating online is negative- news stories, political rant posts, people whining or complaining, people arguing in the Facebook comments… And if it’s not negative, it’s spammy- sponsored ads, pages you follow, sale announcements, clearance events… I find myself reading and clicking on things I didn’t come online to see. Twenty minutes later I have no idea what I came online to do (if there even was anything) and I’m kind of annoyed.

While the bury my head in the sand method is tempting, it’s not effective. Intention is my new favorite notion, so I figured I would take my intention and turn it toward my online life.

  1. Unsubscribe from those e-mails you don’t even read. You know what I’m talking about. Those e-mails you signed up for but immediately just delete or leave unread because you don’t actually have time for all that. And after you do that…
  2. Clean out your inbox. I have three e-mail accounts, plus a work account (I KNOW IT’S ABSURD I’M WORKING ON CONSOLIDATING) but I hit “inbox zero” regularly on all of my accounts. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than a very full, disorganized inbox. Plus, Google will show you a happy sunshine with a smiley face that says, “Please enjoy your day!”

    So cheerful!

  3. Unfollow Facebook pages that are no longer serving you. Turns out liking about 50 random pages back in 2007 wasn’t a great idea. And you don’t necessarily want to rely on Facebook to learn about events in the world. Talk about bias.
  4. Unfollow Facebook friends who are annoying the shit out of you. Unfriending people is extreme, and Facebook has given us the delightful option to hide people from our newsfeeds. People can complain about political candidates/millennials/baby boomers/companies/men/women/the second amendment, and you don’t have to see it!
  5. Sort through who you follow on other media. For me, this is Twitter. I follow a lot of accounts (over 750) and I went through and unfollowed all news outlets. Which leads me to my next point.
  6. Decide where you want to get your news. Remember the good old days when you could get all of your news from one place, like your favorite newspaper? I vaguely do (what is… paper?) and the sheer number of places to get news online is overwhelming. Enter theSkimm. Get the jist of the news each weekday morning in your shiny clean inbox, and if you want to know more about something, seek it out.
  7. Remember not to open Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat 50 times a day. Guilty over here. Majorly. This is where intention comes back into play. If you find yourself endlessly scrolling, ask yourself why you came here. If you have no reason (and no, being bored is probably not truly valid), think about that.
  8. Turn your attention elsewhere. With all of the time you will eventually be saving by not being glued to social media, think about how you’d like to spend your time. For me, I have a lot of things I’m trying to do/be, and while I’m usually good at remembering to *hey pick up a book*, it takes time to get into the habit of setting, visiting, and working toward goals.
  9. Practice being more in the moment. Similarly, you’ll be able to be more present in your surroundings if you’re not so tuned out. Notice the little things. Flowers, birds, dogs, people, the sky, clouds, how the rain feels… anything at all.

Decluttering your digital life

A Letter to 18 Year Old Me on My 26th Birthday

Hello. It’s me.

I remember thinking about what my life would be like by the time I was the age I am now. I had a vision in mind: job that pays the bills (thanks, college education!), own a home, be married (note to self: find suitor).

Dear 18 year old me,
It ain’t happenin’ like you ‘planned’. Continue reading

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years via J Seeks Joy #Wisdom #Birthday #Advice #LifeAdvice #Inspiration #Motivation

This post has been brewing for a month and a half and I’m glad to finally share it with all of you! While 25 is relatively young, I like to think that I’ve picked up a few gold nuggets of knowledge along the way :)

  1. Don’t buy the shoes. You realistically need four or five five pairs of shoes. Until you have a walk in closet, anyway. And STOP buying unsupportive, cheap, trendy shoes that give you blisters and ugly red marks on the back of your heels. Buy nice shoes, keep them for a long time.
  2. Your thoughts are not gospel. You are not your thoughts. Take every thought with a grain of salt.
  3. Exercise self-compassion. You are you, and you are human. You make mistakes. “To err is human.”
  4. Practice gratitude. This does not always come easily, but that’s why they call it practice.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. People will walk all over you if you don’t ask for what you need. No one can read minds as of this writing.
  6. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. Do not feel guilty for: spending ‘too much’ money on groceries, buying a new bed, buying new shoes when yours wear out, hair cuts, moisturizer, or sunscreen. Pay now with your money, or pay later with your health.
  7. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” You are in a race with yourself and no one else. Be happy for others’ success, but stay in your own lane. This is incredibly hard to execute, but not impossible.
  8. Expectation is the root of all anger and disappointment. Assess your expectations regularly. Accept when you’ve set the bar too high for yourself or someone else.
  9. “He who burns bridges better be a damn good swimmer.” (Thank you Harvey Mackay!) Be prepared for the consequences when you burn a bridge whether it’s at work or in your personal life.
  10. Listen to the music that makes you happy. We call our trashy music tastes a “guilty pleasure” because we’re all so concerned with what other people think. My personal favorite that absolutely does not ‘fit’ is “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown band. And I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about that.
  11. Know when you’re wrong, and know when to quit arguing. It’s hard to admit you’re wrong. It’s also hard to end an argument. Say, “I love you more than this argument,” and act accordingly.
  12. Be flexibly persistent. (Borrowed from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn). You will go up in flames. Remember your fire extinguisher. Start adjusting your plans.
  13. Begin each day with a clean slate. To quote Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
  14. Be kind to yourself. When you do something stupid, you are not stupid; What you just did was stupid. When you behave badly, you are not bad; How you just acted was bad. When you say something you didn’t mean, you aren’t a monster; You just said the wrong thing. Do not use yourself as a punching bag.
  15. Take care of your skin. Moisturize, and wear sunscreen. You only get one natural face. And don’t skip your neck. Looking down at your smartphone all the time is quickly wrinkling your neck. Ew.
  16. You are what you eat. Your body has no use for crap food. Excess sugar, carbs, artificial sweeteners, carbs, refined foods, preservatives, carbs… Ain’t no body got time for that.
  17. Do what you say and say what you’ll do. Being accountable, trustworthy, and good for your word will go a long way with people.
  18. Immerse yourself in a book at all times. The library is free; You don’t need to buy a ton of books. People will tell you it’s impossible to keep up with your adult life and read a lot. They are bad at prioritizing. Don’t listen to them.
  19. Forget the life you’ve imagined. The future is unpredictable, and you can’t always control what happens in life. Don’t get caught up in things that have not or are not happening and focus on where you are and where you can feasibly go from here.
  20. Say yes, and figure the rest out later. This goes for any opportunity. Don’t let the details stop you.
  21. Know thyself. And don’t apologize for your quirks. I know that I’m weird and type A about a lot of things, and pretending to be easy going or apologizing for being the way I am would feel pretty shitty.
  22. Leave your eyebrows alone. The thing that I find MOST DISTRACTING about watching Orange is the New Black is Vause’s eyebrows. Ugh. They are one width throughout. They are over-shaped and over-managed and I’m not here for it.
  23. You can forgive people, even if they’re not sorry. Because it’s not for them, it’s for you.
  24. Remember to breathe. Breathe in through your nose, focus on your breath, imagine it filling up your entire body, breathe out the bullshit.
  25. Bask in your failure. The sooner you get better and more graceful at failing, the better. Resilience isn’t something you can be taught; it’s something you have to build yourself and the only way to do it is to fail, and fail spectacularly. Don’t be ashamed of failure. Wear it with pride. After all, it’s proof that you tried.