Friday, October 9, 2015

Does technology simplify your life or just make it more complicated?

Simplify Your Life Series - Part 2 Simplify your Technology
Does technology simplify your life or just make it more complicated?  There are some great ways that we can all use technology smarter, to save time and simply our lives. 

I use Apple products and I really enjoy how my calendar and to-do lists are automatically synched for me.  When I add an event on my phone, it shows up on my laptop.  What a great time saver.

Another great time saver is using the online bill pay feature through my bank.  It is so quick and easy to see what is due and to schedule payments.  I don’t have to worry about having stamps or missing a payment because I forgot to drop the envelope into the mail.  I get to keep my money in my account until the last possible moment.  This is a great example of how technology can be helpful.  Of course, there are also ways that technology can make things more difficult.  Too many emails, lost data, and viruses can all cause challenges; here are some suggestions for making your life simpler. 

To simplify my life, I have been unsubscribing to several mass emails that I used to get every week, but never read.  Most of them are from department stores or office supply stores that I rarely frequent anyway. I know this will take some time upfront, but in the end it will save me time and in turn it will simply my life.  I also make a point to click and identify these messages as spam so my computer will put them in my spam folder, rather than clogging up my inbox.  It takes a few extra moments at first, but it is worth it to reduce the amount of time I spend sifting through e-mails. 

Another way to simplify your life is organizing your electronic folders- just like a messy office desk; a messy lap top desk can be just as distracting and time wasting.  Only keep items that you really need and use often.  When working on a project I tend to save items to my desktop, but when I have finished with that task I delete those items or move them to the appropriate file.  Keeping your desktop simple not only makes it easier to find things, but it keeps your stress level lower. 

We all have a limited amount of time in in a day; so it’s important that we don’t waste time mindlessly scrolling through endless social media? I like to interact with friends, but let’s face it; some of our friends and loved ones are full of drama.  Facebook has great tools to ‘unfollow’ pages and even friends, leaving your newsfeed less cluttered with items you are not interested in.  When you have limited time, you can also scroll through your list of close friends, rather than the general newsfeed, focusing only on the relationships and info that matter the most to you. 

Another really important tip, you should back up your computer files on a regular basis.  Put all your photos and documents on an external drive, it frees up space and makes your laptop happier.  It also provides reassurance that your important files (photos & documents) are in a safe place.  If you are really concerned – you can put your photos in on online storage like drop box as well.  If you ever have a problem like a virus or broken computer, you will be so glad you have everything backed up. 

I am not a technology genius, but I know that with some effort, technology can help simplify your life.

Upcoming posts in my ‘Simplifying your Life’ series include Saying No and Having a Plan.

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