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How To Declutter Your Digital Life On Medium

  • 6 min read

it’s not easy and feels scary, but it makes you a happier writer — less is more in our digital world

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up on Medium, isn’t it?

So many inspiring writers and so little time. I wish there were more hours or I could figure out a way to need less sleep.

Recently I noticed my reading list was filled to the brim. I had saved over 500 stories — to read, re-read or link to them in a story one day.

Clutter can feel heavy

Since we’re in the process of moving to an island in order to start our nomadic life, every day I’m packing boxes and tidying up around the big apartment that has almost destroyed my marriage.

Clutter can weigh us down in so many ways. Our goal is to get rid of all the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t provide any value or we don’t need.

In fact, research shows that disorganization and cluttered homes are linked.

Clutter increases mental overload, reduces our working memory and our ability to focus.

I started to declutter my personal reading list

A few days ago, I realized there was one crucial part of my daily life I forgot to declutter — my digital life on Medium.

So, I decided to take the time to tidy up my reading list first. That list is from 8 months on Medium.

  • I devoted a few hours to tidy up my personal reading list and got it down to 50 articles. You might think. What? 50 articles means decluttering? Are you kidding? For me it is. I had 5k! Of course, I’m not done yet! As BichoDoMato recently said ‘It is a FOMO disaster’. Bicho has 2k stories bookmarked.
  • I found I did read a lot of what was on my reading list, but sometimes I forgot to delete it.

My learning: I read a lot of the stories, but others I marked to read and then never read them.

✅ Now, I just read a story right away instead of marking it!

The magical snowball effect of decluttering

Once I started to declutter my digital life on Medium, it felt like a snowball effect. It created persistence and motivation to move on.

  • Soon I found myself clearing out around 140 piling drafts.
  • Then I answered questions and old comments as well.

I realized: It’s a very freeing feeling once done. Digital clutter can feel so heavy.

✅ It does feel great to delete things that are not relevant to our lives.

It’s gratifying

Now, when I sit down to write in the evening, I feel more energetic, relaxed, and efficient.

I can focus on the present moment.

It’s gratifying for sure and beneficial for your writing karma too.

It’s the same feeling I want for you.

Here’s a list for you to tidy up your digital life on Medium:

Business vector created by jcomp
  1. Clear your bulging reading list. Don't be afraid to look at your reading list. The bulging list/s need cleansing! Select stories you want to (re-)read and link to in the near future and delete the rest. ✅
  2. Clear away old drafts and have fun. Stay on top of things and select drafts you are motivated to write about within the next weeks. Focus on writing these stories down within the next few weeks. Set a deadline. ✅
  3. Answer old comments. When you’ve reached 500 followers+ there are so many notifications. It’s hard to keep up with them. Still, my tip is: Don’t post and ghost. It’s crucial to answer comments in order to build a relationship with your readers and stay in contact.

Here are my insights more about the latter:

Don’t wait till you’re in (writing) heaven

Recently Loudt Darrow was thinking about writing heaven. How it would look like and what writers could do there.

In regard to Loudt’s idea, I found an interesting comment by Bob Jasper:

The saving thought for me is that once I’m in heaven, I’ll have plenty of time to not only read all those books and stories, but sit and discuss them with the authors and other interested and interesting readers.

I think that’s a lovely idea.

Once we‘re in heaven there won’t be household chores to do and we can read all the Medium stories (and books) we want!

Still, we only have one life. No one knows what’s it like to be in heaven.

Final Thoughts

Digital clutter increases mental overload and our ability to focus.

I know it can feel scary but it feels so great after you clear out your digital world on Medium.

You’re gonna be a much happier writer.

  • It leaves more space for joy and for you to enjoy your time on earth.
  • In my opinion, less is more in our digital world.
  • Be gentle with yourself as we don’t need to do it all at once. Don’t become obsessed with it and try to do it all in one sitting.
  • Just take a few minutes whenever it suits you. But MAKE the time. Otherwise, your bulging reading lists, piling drafts, and unanswered comments can really get in the way of doing other important things in life.

What’s your opinion?

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