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How to declutter your digital life

To avoid wasting time emailing back and forth to schedule meetings, use a shared calendar – such as YouCanBookMe, Calendly or x.ia – where colleagues can see your availability and book tracks accordingly. If you frequently set up meetings with people outside your organization, these tools can be integrated with Google and Outlook calendars, so you do not have to switch between different platforms.

Another time-saver: Instead of writing the same answer to frequently asked questions or queries, save a template so you can quickly turn it off when needed. Dr. O’Keefe told the recipients, “I see you, I hear you, I̵

7;m interested in answering you – but here’s when it will happen.”

Finally, you will never be a person in the inbox zero if you treat your email as a to-do list. It is common to leave messages unread and use them as reminders to get to specific tasks. The thinking goes: “If I need to do it, it’s in my inbox. And if I want to take some of my plate, I’ll just send an email about it to someone else, ”said Dr. Newport. “That is a task management system. It’s just awful. ”

Instead, he proposes to create a separate “duty room”. Use electronic tools such as Trello, Flow-e or Asana to create task boards that organize your responsibilities according to urgency and progress. If they are not for you, Gmail has a to-do feature built into the calendar app that lets you create digital to-do lists, while Outlook has a similar feature called To Do. (The classic task tool is being phased out.) Or just use a pen and paper to outline today’s priorities.

“The most important thing here is low friction,” said Dr. Newport. “Get things written down from your head.”

There are small lifestyle changes you can make to adjust when needed. Dr. O’Keefe recommends taking the time to examine each of your digital tools and ask, “How does this fit into my life?”

If you do not absolutely need to be on call 24/7, you can flash professional email and chat alerts when you log off the day. If you have a smartwatch that syncs with your inbox and phone, take it off when you finish work.

Smartphones are so versatile – we use them to work, connect and even buy cars – but remember that you have control over how you use them. Dr. Literat decided to stop reading and watching shows on her phone, so she bought a Kindle and started turning on the television more.

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