Clearing the clutter for a fresh start to 2013

Canceled2

Daniel Kulinski via Compfight

Here’s hoping you survived the Christmas and New Year Holiday period, got home safely if you travelled and are back to a normal household if you had friends or family visiting.

Today is the first day back at work for many people in the West and other parts of the world, a time to shake off the lethargy of two weeks spent following a different routine.

You might have used the two weeks to reflect on 2012, celebrate your successes, learn from the things that did not work out as planned, set goals and make plans for 2013.

That’s what I did in between my cat herding and housekeeping duties, thank goodness Sue will be back on Thursday. I can start getting my life back to normal.

The big aha moment for me came when I realised how much time I spent during the year on unproductive activities. Many of them enjoyable and entertaining, some educational and inspiring. But very few of them improved my life or put money in my bank account. Time to get really serious about cutting out the clutter.

It was not just social media although that was one of the worse culprits despite strict scheduling. Big chunks of time were spent just deleting emails that I should not be receiving for a number of reasons.

  • Social media notifications.
  • Updates from services I no longer need or use.
  • Newsletters from people I no longer wish to follow.

Starting last week, I made it a priority to carry out the most drastic pruning of my newsletter subscriptions, social media memberships and other sites I have attempted. Although it takes time to follow an unsubscribe link or visit a site and navigate to a “cancel /delete account” button, I am pressing on ruthlessly.

It used to concern me when subscribers stopped following my blogs, unsubscribed from my updates or stopped following me on social media sites but not for long, it’s all part of life. Now I have absolutely no feelings of remorse when I successfully add another site to the list of casualties in my campaign to rid my digital landscape of unwanted distractions.

It is interesting to notice how easy it is to find the “upgrade” or “pay now” buttons  but how well hidden the “delete” buttons are on the majority of websites.

Finding the hidden buttons takes time and complicates the purging process, it’s tempting to just take the easy route and delete the latest email. That’s just a temporary fix, next week or sometime in the future there will be another one and another to waste even more time.

Much better to bite the bullet, work through the frustration and do it properly. It feels liberating to finally permanently get rid of one more time-waster.

We do not realise just how much time sorting through, skipping over, or deleting, the clutter actually steals from our days.

How are you doing? Are you off to a flying start already in 2013 or still clearing the excess clutter?

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  1 comment for “Clearing the clutter for a fresh start to 2013

  1. Roberta
    January 8, 2013 at 7:33 am

    I have an easy way to deal with clutter. I don’t sign up for much of anything. I leaned that lesson way back in the 90’s. Did you know electronic subscriptions multiply over night? Gremlins. Worse than cats. I don’t think I have 10 subscriptions.
    Good luck with your clean-up.

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