Whether we like it or not, technology has become a crucial part of our everyday life. We use our devices to shop, order food, watch movies, read the news and even as alarm clocks, making them basically an extension of us.
Technology is making us more powerful than ever, but with great power comes great responsibility as well. If we don’t develop healthy digital habits, we risk fueling some of our worst tendencies – overspending, procrastination, and laziness.
We have put together a list of 6 digital habits that will help simplify your day to day life and keep technology as a powerful ally. From automating tasks to protecting your online data and keeping yourself informed, technology can be leveraged to help us act smarter, rather than allow it to dictate our lives.
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Improve data protection
If you are using one single password for all of your digital accounts, it’s time to stop now. Your online accounts store sensitive data, such as your name, address, credit card information and so on, which means you need to keep them safe and away from unwanted eyes.
Use unique passwords for each of your online accounts, and don’t make the mistake of keeping them stored in a Notes app or text document on your desktop. If someone manages to get access to your computer, all your data may be at risk.
Be very careful when giving apps access to your computer or mobile phone and try to reconsider logging into apps with your Facebook account. If possible, use two-step authentication for every website that allows it, to add another layer of protection.
Another recommendation is to keep separate email addresses, one for communication and another one for subscriptions so that you keep your anonymity for as much as possible.
Disable unimportant notifications
We have a smartphone with us at any time, basically making us available to anyone 24/7. While being able to talk to your friends and family from anywhere and anytime is certainly amazing, we are also bombarded with unnecessary information from all the apps we are using. Countless discount coupons you never use, Facebook notifications from pages you started following 5 years ago and reminders from a game you installed two months ago but never used since they are all just clutter for the mind.
Go through your apps and only keep important notifications active, such as those from messaging apps, your bank or emails. You don’t need to know who and what posted at every hour of the day. Important events don’t happen that often and you will only end up getting distracted.
Automate payments whenever possible
We spend hours every week running errands and paying bills, even though we live in the digital era. Why not make your life a hundred times easier and automate your payments, so that you take that burden from your shoulders? Almost every service provider allows you to pay bills online, from the comfort of your home, or on the go, so why not take advantage of it?
Automating payments is not only going to save you precious time, but it will also ensure you never miss a payment ever again. All you need to do is set a payment date and ensure you have enough money left in your bank account to cover payments by that date. It will take some time to automate all payments, but believe me, it is worth it for the time you will be saving afterward.
But paying for bills online is not the only way you can save time with technology. Need groceries? You can simply order them online and save yourself a trip to the grocery store. Want to purchase insurance? You can get a home insurance quote online and even purchase a policy directly from your computer.
Keep up with important news
With the power of technology, we now have the media at our fingertips, which means you have no excuse for not knowing what goes on around the globe. I’m not saying you need to know everything that is happening on the other corner of the world, but important news such as what’s happening with the novelty coronavirus, or changes in the economic and political climate should receive your attention.
Just like our grandparents used to read the paper every morning, it’s good to keep an eye on what’s happening in the world when you drink your coffee in the morning. Subscribe to a few publications you consider relevant and check them once a day. Trust me, once a day is enough to keep yourself informed but not distracted.
Store your documents digitally
Are you tired of keeping copies of all the important documents and take up space in your drawers? Why not consider storing everything online? For starters, request for all of your bills to be sent via email and store them in a separate folder. This way, you can easily search for them without having to spend hours looking through piles of paperwork.
Take photos of all of your important documents and store them in a protected folder in the cloud or on your computer, so that you can easily access or print them anytime you need. You will not only save yourself time but also help protect the environment by limiting paper usage.
Take out the digital trash
Just like your home, your phone and computer can get cluttered pretty fast, which is why it is important to organize them once in a while. Take a day and go through all of your photos, files, notes, and emails and delete those you don’t need anymore. Digital decluttering can be time-consuming but will be very satisfying once done. You will finally be able to find what you are looking for, without having to browse through gigabytes of unnecessary data.
Don’t stop at deleting files and emails only. Go through your browser’s bookmarks as well, unsubscribe from unwanted email lists, delete accounts you don’t use anymore and give your social media a good clean-up as well.