Starting any simplification project can feel overwhelming, but giving yourself a few guidelines can help ease the stress. That's why we're capturing our favorite tips on how to simplify in our 52 Ways to Simplify series – sign up to have these insights delivered straight to your inbox.
1. Use a Digital Password Organizer
If you keep your passwords on a single sheet of paper, this tip is for you. A written system works fine to a point, but can become cumbersome to maintain, and doesn't travel or age well... We recommend looking at Dashlane, 1Password, or enabling the built-in Keychain on your Apple device. Each of these allow you to generate super-secure passwords and store them super safely, so you’re the only one who can access them. Ah, enjoy all that brain space you reclaim when you no longer have to remember or type out passwords.
2. Battle Phone App Chaos
Do you have a ton of apps on your phone that you rarely use? If you can't bring yourself to delete them (do try that first), there's good news: There are ways to organize and access them! Like something you'd find at the Container Store if the Container Store sold containers for apps, Apple released a feature called the “App Library.” Use it to arrange apps in a storage area that's out-of-sight and out-of-mind. Be bold and move all but your most-used apps; you can still easily find them by using the search function, scrolling through the list or browsing through the icons. If you’re on Android, no sweat – you can easily replicate the App Library feature.
3. Put Your Phone Down
Why is this so much easier said than done? Well, if you watched The Social Dilemma, you're in on the fact that there’s a very intentional, scientific, profit-driven reason you’re so glued to your phone. App designers know what keeps you hooked — but good news, addiction is not inevitable. You can counter some of those tactics with just two easy fixes:
- Turn off notifications. Slide into your DMs when you want to, not every time someone else does. This not only reduces random disruptions, you reclaim that time lost when you pick up your phone to quickly check a notification, only to find yourself still scrolling 25 minutes later...
- Set time limits. Interrupt mindless doom-scrolling with Focus Mode on iPhone or Digital Wellbeing on Android. These native scheduling tools are fairly robust, but if you're still finding it hard to basically parental-control yourself, check out apps with names like Freedom designed to help you reduce your screen time.
And lastly, try keeping your phone out of the bedroom. Find an alarm clock you like (maybe that one in the attic still works) and establish a spot elsewhere in the house to charge your phone.
4. Break Up with Facebook (But Keep Your Friends)
To combat time spent on Facebook specifically, we found a great way to make it less addictive: Distil your feed. On a desktop browser go to: Account > Settings & Privacy > News Feed Preferences > Unfollow. Just go ahead and unfollow all but your closest friends and family — and watch your endless feed become about two or three posts long. It’s seriously a game changer. To help spread the word, we made this easy way for you to share this tip with others using your profile pic.
5. Streamline Online Shopping
Many Americans shop on Amazon because they carry nearly everything (though not everything we make!), and their site makes it stupidly easy to check out. You can make your online shopping experience elsewhere almost as easy by updating your credit cards and billing info in a digital wallet app like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
For next-level convenience, download Shop Pay and bask in benefits like instant login and order history for Shopify-based stores (like ours). The app also shows at-a-glance shipping status of purchases you’ve made from any shop. Bonus: When you checkout with Shop, the delivery of your order is carbon offset! And you know we love any life-hack that's also good for Planet Earth.