When developing the iPhone, Apple paid particular attention to one detail that caught the attention of users: the notification bubbles. You could have used a soothing blue, a pretty pink, or a green inspired by nature as the notification color. But no, they chose a bright, alarming red.
I don’t get a lot of text messages or voicemails and I have notifications disabled for almost every app. However, my blood pressure rises significantly when I see a red number one next to the Settings app. Oh no. Software Update!
Do not get me wrong. I have no problem keeping my software up to date to avoid glitches and optimize my smartphone experience. However, every time I update my software, I am told that I do not have enough space on my phone. I start grumbling quietly and my husband just laughs at me.
When I bought my iPhone 6s, I chose the smallest storage space of 16 gigabytes (GB) because I was sure that it would be enough despite my husband’s raised eyebrows. Although I have very few text messages, voicemails and photos on my phone, I never have enough space. So I wondered
“What do you need to unload?“
It is interesting to me that Apple uses the term “outsource”. The basic definition of the word is to remove something you don’t want by giving it to someone else. However, Apple’s use of the word is very specific. You can free up the space used by the app, but keep the documents and data. Instead of permanently deleting the app, part of the memory used is temporarily removed and you can easily reinstall the app.
When I recently searched for apps for outsourcing (thanks to iOS 13.3.1), I came to some interesting conclusions:
- I downloaded 57 apps (excluding Apple’s standard apps), less than the average of 80 according to the TechJury.
- I use 8 of these apps daily, which is roughly the average of 9 from the same study.
- I use 6 additional apps per week (for a total of 15 versus 30 apps per month in the study).
The rest of my apps are for occasional reference purposes, so I only really use half of the apps on my phone. It may also be interesting to see how you compare these averages.
Three things we can learn from “unloading”
This exercise taught me three things that apply to my minimalism journey.
1. We generally do not take a critical look at what we have, unless we face a physical limitation or an urgent deadline.
A common excuse not to decode is, “If we have space, what’s the big problem?” I am blessed to live in a country where the average living space has increased by 30% since I was born in 1980 that the physical limitation of “too much stuff” is much higher than if I lived in a mobile home or tiny house (maybe like a 16 GB phone?)
The only time we really feel compelled to do something about our mess is an urgent deadline, e.g. B. a move. Otherwise it’s just easier to hold on just in case because we have the space for it and when it’s out of sight it’s crazy. The clerk does not knock on our doors and asks us when we last used our electric milk frother. (Am I the only one who has one of these?)
I have previously written about how artificial borders can help us on our path to minimalism. Even if you have large walk-in closets, restricting certain items of clothing to a specific space (a drawer, a certain number of hangers, etc.) can help your wardrobe not overwhelm you. Why are we happy with having socks in a drawer but other items of clothing can explode in our closets? Carefully curating our objects with physical boundaries allows us to enjoy the space for which we are blessed.
2. If you’re not ready to get rid of certain things or behaviors in your life, it’s okay to take a break instead of parting.
I like to temporarily swap my apps out to free up space and see if I want to keep the app in the future. If it was a few weeks ago and I didn’t download it again, I can probably delete it.
In other areas of our lives, we can pause things that we think we can do without and see how that frees us up to do the things that are really important to us. Courtney Carver recently wrote the following about breaks: “Breaks of things like alcohol, coffee, sugar, shopping, social media, and other things that I wasn’t sure about gave me information about how to do it based on how I did it feel instead of what i think i will feel. “
We often think that we cannot do without something, but if we take a temporary break, we can better adjust to what we can draw from removing it from our lives, rather than what we lose. I removed alcohol in the past month and significantly reduced my sugar and carbohydrate consumption. My mood and mental clarity have improved significantly. The benefits far outweighed the temporary joys that these things brought to my life.
The nice thing about breaks is that you can take these things back into your life at any time, but you can do so in a mindful, deliberate way.
3. Running at almost full capacity is tiring. It slows us down. If we create space in our lives, we can keep space for others.
When my phone approaches its 16 GB capacity, it responds strangely. Apps are closed without notice. The battery seems to run down quickly. We are the same. When we are overworked and overwhelmed, our energy is lost. We act in a way that contradicts what we think we are and who we want to be.
When we decide what we can do (temporarily or permanently), something amazing happens. While we can barely stay afloat before we feel we can suddenly breathe. And after breathing in and out for a while and having the ability to take care of yourself, you can start making room for others. We can listen openly, we can empathize, we can be present in the presence of someone else without the task list in our heads or our fingers twitching to check our phones. We can use our precious resources of time, attention and focus and know that we are exactly where we should be.
So if your phone doesn’t remind you that you need to outsource something, let me be your bright red notification bubble. The answer to making your work easier is not more square feet, more stylish equipment, or better organizing your things. It is not hidden in a shiny new storage unit, an online shopping cart or color-coordinated containers. This is achieved by looking closely at what takes up space, energy and time and outsourcing what you no longer need to make room for the life you want and deserve.
About the author: Emily McDermott is a woman, mother, and simplicity seeker who records her trip Simply from Emmy, She loves to dance, write poems and spend time with her husband and two young sons.
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