Ah yes, spring cleaning. It’s a wonderful thing. Graduation and move-out seasons are upon us in the world of higher education. For many, we’re cleaning out residence halls and offices, moving out of apartments, selling textbooks, and expunging a years worth of clutter from our lives. But don’t just stop at the physical clutter that stresses you out. Let’s take a look at electronic clutter that can be decreasing your motivation and productivity too.
1. Change your Passwords
No seriously. CHANGE. YOUR. PASSWORDS! Right now. Do it! I’ll wait….
Think of this as your mom reminding you to take a jacket with you. You’re annoyed that you have to do it, but you’re going to be thankful that you did. I cannot stress the importance of this enough! Passwords should be changed multiple times a year, and don’t just recycle old ones back around. Actually, a good rule of thumb would be to change your passwords when daylight savings comes around, right after you change the batteries in your smoke detectors (which has the same frequency rule…we don’t just give social media tips here at Social Butterfly, we also give life tips…you’re welcome).
There are useful apps out there to help you both randomize and remember your passwords. I use 1Password, but other good ones are LastPass and Keeper. Your passwords are all encrypted within the app, so they’re safe. Another tip for passwords is while you’re trying to think up something with 8 characters, a number, a symbol, and an arm and a leg, try to incorporate goals. For instance, if you’re on a weight loss journey, what’s your goal weight for the next 3 months? Add that number into your password somewhere. Or are you training for your first marathon? Add in your goal mile time. Not only will it be a reminder of what you’re trying to obtain, but you’ll be more likely to change your passwords more frequently as well. And in most cases, these goals wouldn’t be public knowledge, so they’d be safe to plug in.
2. Clean up your follower lists
Get in there and use some elbow grease to get rid of those people you’re following who provide no benefit to your social media experience. If you hid them from your feed, get annoyed with how many times a day they post, “junk” that you scroll right past every time, or you only followed them because they followed you….get rid of ’em! Remember, social media isn’t about quantity of followers, it’s about a quality experience for both you and your followers.
And don’t forget that in Twitter you can create “lists” to categorize who you’re following. It’s best to keep up with this whenever you follow someone new, because if you get behind the catch-up can take days, but it’s a great social media hack and time saver once it’s all organized!
3. Reorganize your apps
You’re probably thinking “whatever, my apps are just where I want them”. But are they? You download an app, move it to where you think it’ll be best utilized on your screen, and leave it. You know Facebook is 2nd row, 4th slot. Twitter is 3rd row, 1st slot. You get used to where your apps are and open them like it’s second nature.
Moving around apps can be scary. It throws off your mojo until you can get used to it again. But trust me on this, your brain could use an app detox. Take a look at your phone and all of your apps. How might they serve a better purpose for both your productivity and your sanity?
Here’s how I like my apps organized. Take it or leave it, but do whatever will work best for you!
- 1st screen – Things for ME that I use frequently for myself, not for work…apps that I enjoy looking at and won’t necessarily stress me out or make me think about work stuff. [texts, calendar, alarm, camera, photos, google maps, music, kindle, podcasts, weatherbug, and fitbit]
- 2nd screen – This is the work zone. All my social media, productivity, file sharing, and photo editing apps are here. It’s only 1 swipe away on the 2nd home screen, but it’s not in my face as soon as I unlock my phone each time.
- 3rd screen – miscellaneous or less-frequently used apps. [CVS, banking, Southwest, Parkmobile, Sudoku, and Starbucks]
4. Clear the Cache in Social Media Apps
Data storage. It’s everywhere. Especially in your social media apps! All those gifs you post on twitter? Saved. The external links you click on to view news articles? Saved. The pin for tonights dinner recipe? Saved. It’s all stuff that the apps use to collect info on you and track your usage.
You don’t need that “junk” in your life, so get rid of it! Watch my how-to video to give your phone storage a little facelift.
So remember, spring cleaning isn’t only for your house. Use this time to get your technical life organized and you’ll be ready to kick off your shoes and relax a bit this summer.