My life is a weird combination of me saying "I just don't have time" and ending up with brief windows when I don't know what to do with myself. This is when I most often tend to ask, What would feel good right now? What do I want to do? And lots of times it leads to organizing, tossing, streamlining and de-cluttering. I like to empty out filing cabinets, shred useless papers, clear out baskets and get rid of mystery electronic cables and chargers. This week, having already exercised, meditated and napped, I was stuck in the same place for about an hour and I had that itch — dare I say I was bored — so I took to my iPhone and started scrolling through all of my apps.
I was instantly irritated by the quantity of apps on my phone and the fact that, although I had 5 screens' worth of apps, I really only use the ones on my home screen on a daily basis. Which is what the coveted home screen space is for — and I love the practicality of that — but it was annoying to me that I had all of these apps someone on the internet told me I "should" download to make my life "easier," when all they did was sit there.
Even though I've taken an interest in minimalism, you see, I still get sucked in when something cheap or free and easily accessible to me promises to make my life easier, better, faster or more organized. (Except these things add up when you're buying multiple $5 apps and they just clutter up your iPhone!)
So I started deleting things, and it occurred to me that just like I try to do with my schedule, I could try to arrange my phone around what's important to me and what I want to do more of.
I noticed that I had 3 meditation apps and 3 sort of affirmation apps that I rarely used — right now I'm kind of doing my own thing in terms of meditation and yoga, and to be honest I think I'm in a good place now, where my brain can reproduce any affirmation I think I might need in the moment. It feels great to realize that.
I also deleted Periscope. Frankly, I found the notifications to be really irritating, and when I considered going in to turn them off, it felt better to just delete the app. (Oh, and did I mention how unappealing it is to have someone type "show us your tits" when you're live streaming?)
I deleted a few games I'd downloaded for my kids, because now all they want to do is watch YouTube when I give them my phone, and while that in and of itself is a little obnoxious, it's even more obnoxious to me to have a handful of games for them too, "just in case."
I deleted a Reminder app, because when it went off I realized it was reminding me of another project I'd started and left by the wayside.
I deleted an app that goes with a book that I've tried reading several times and just can't get through.
I deleted a real estate app, because really...what do I care about real estate?
You see where I'm going with this. So after I had deleted everything that felt annoying and irrelevant, I started moving things around.
I am really into making art with words, so I moved Quollective to my home screen — that's something quick and easy I can do to remember that I want to make something more permanent later.
I put Mint and Citi Mobile closer to the front because I'm working on being more mindful with my budgeting and spending, and seeing these apps reminds me to check in and stay conscious around money. Some other apps I moved toward the front include Vimeo and Dropbox, because we're using both in a great online course I'm taking right now that is really special and moving.
Sure, there are some others I'm not ready to let go of yet — some I don't even know how to use — but this is how I operate. Cleaning and clearing, a little bit at a time, is the pace that feels comfortable to me. It can feel like I'm just trying to keep up with the in-flow — the amount of papers from Kindergarten alone is shocking — but if that's the best I can do right now, it's good enough for me.
So what do your apps say about you? Are they taunting you because you downloaded them and now you don't know how to use them? Or do they remind you of things you "should" be doing or something you really would like more of in your life? Have a little look-see. It may just give you a sneak peek at some deeper longings and needs that you haven't been very awake to lately. My little project brought to mind two of my favorite sayings: "The simplest answer is usually correct" (if you "never" use an app, you probably never will — and you can always download it again later) and "How you do one thing is how you do everything" (it's definitely a pattern of mine to think I need all sorts of apps, books, programs, classes and literature before I can do something or before I feel complete or ready — but when it comes down to it, I can count on one hand the people I turn to most often and the philosophies I truly subscribe to).
I showed you mine, now you show me yours — your choice, before or after you reorganize!
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Filed under: Chasing peace