declutter digital life

I recently read the book, A World Without Email, and couldn’t believe the brainstorming it sparked.*

(And no, I’m not against all email, just endlessly coordinating things when I could be enjoying a good book and a cup of tea on the couch)

Here are 4 of my favorite tips from the book. They really made a HUGE difference in my days.

Shared Sheets & Scheduled Email:

First, the author explains how (instead of writing endless emails) when one woman needs something from her work team she uses a shared google spreadsheet along with scheduled ahead gmail reminders.

Application: For reoccurring weekly or monthly bills, work hours, etc. you don’t HAVE to text or email others constantly. (I used this idea to coordinate summer camps for my kids too)

The Power of Templates:

Simple templates and checklists can be used to remove the friction on everything from email to budgeting to coordinating with family and colleagues.

(In my home life, routine templates put the responsibility on my kids too – dramatically reducing the amount of exasperated mom yelling I do)

Stop Re-Inventing the Wheel – Find Different Solutions

One of the things I loved most about the book is that it really promoted thinking outside the box for solutions instead of taking the easy way out.

So, at conferences for my kids, I realized that they weren’t reading because they didn’t have books that were BOTH good for their reading level and interesting. Instead of emailing the teacher and librarian back and forth constantly, I found this best book list for 7 year olds that took care of the problem for me.

I would not have done this without reading the book.

Batch the Work

Finally, any work that you do often can be batched for 2x the productivity.

For example, if for work, you block all of your client time into a 2-3 hour time chunk only for that task, you’ll be able to fully focus. This tool saves minutes (hours) of bouncing back and forth between email and client work – eroding your focus and wasting your time.

In Conclusion

My favorite thing about author Cal Newport is that he challenges the status quo. Is it good for us to be on social media 24/7? Is email actually making us more productive?

Not enough people in today’s world ask these questions – and it’s a real shame.

Which tip do you think you could use this week? Leave a comment and let me know

*Note: The first half of the book was a lot of research, but the second half was inspiring and helpful!