Do you have some basic tech chore to do — say, deleting old digital photos — but you just never seem to find the time to get to it? It’s like permanently etched in your to-do list, and every time you scroll through your loaded smartphone camera roll, the old photos are practically taunting you? Yeah. Been there on the not-done that front many times myself.
So I am really keen to have discovered Gretchen Rubin‘s smart solution for finally getting around to all those pesky tasks all through it that she shared on her new podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin.
She calls the idea Power Hour. And it is smart.
The idea behind Power Hour is to square off an hour in your day to devote to doing all of those simple, easy and sometimes boring chores that you constantly put off until later, later, later. In other words, if you think they can be done any time, they never actually get done. Any time = no time. And if we dedicate an hour to them — what you know? — they can actually get done.
With forward action in mind, here are 5 tech tasks you can consider tackling during your sparkling, new Power Hour habit. You can do it!
1. Clean Your Tech. Germs, Begone.
From touchscreen wipes (above) to getting into the nooks and crannies of the accessories, we’ve got some of the best, safe, and easy tips for cleaning your tech with specific details for computer keyboards, germy touchscreens, even those earbuds which can get icky. We also offer some of our favorite products to help you get started, like Wireless Wipes above, and the truly awesome WHOOSH Screen Shine.
2. Organize Your Digital Photos
The longer those photos from your 2015 (or 2014 or 2013) spring break trip sit on your phone, the longer they will sit on your phone. Plus, putting off organizing your digital photos can be risky; what if your phone gets dropped in the toilet bowl (like that ever happens to parents) or something goes haywire with your SIM card and you can’t access a thing? Best bet is to play it safe and use your Power Hour to protect your prized pics. We’ve pulled together these essential tips, apps and services to help you get your photos organized. Best part: It’s totally doable. And with these tips, not nearly as time consuming as you think.
3. Free Up Space on Your Smart Devices
There are so many ways to get more memory out of your devices: Purge old pics (try the super-easy Flic app, above) that you really don’t need. Dump dusty, memory-munching apps you haven’t used in ages or don’t need daily, like maybe a Prague map or a Euro conversion app from a recent trip. Set up auto-sync for photos from your phone to Dropbox or a cloud service. Start streaming your music instead of storing it all on your phone. Delete old voice memos.
It’s actually all pretty easy if you follow our tips for freeing up memory on your phones and tablets. In no time, that storage will have a little — or a lot — more breathing room.
4. Clean Out That Inbox
Thanks to services like Unroll.me (above), you can rid your email inbox of all those online subscriptions that you signed up for ages ago and the ones that you don’t quite remember even signing up for at all (hmph.) You should also look into Liz’s smart Inbox Zero hack to clean out your Gmail inbox, which our fans were thrilled to discover. Then, you can be ready to receive the next deluge of “urgent” emails.
Also considering using your Power Hour to click “unsubscribe” on all those notifications from organizations, retailers, and that kids’ party space you went to once three years ago. Don’t just click spam; actually unsubscribe. You’ll feel so good afterwards, and it really helps limit the influx in the future.
5. Tame Your Tech Cords and Cables
Whether you go for cute cord management like the PowerCurl Mini (above) or settle on a cool power strip camouflage set-up, with these options, tricks and tips, you’ll finally manage your cords and cables in your home and home office. Don’t do it tomorrow or next month, do it today.
Let’s do this, Power Hour!
One more tip: Rubin also suggests making the Power Hour a family affair by getting your partner or kids to knock off some of the chores with you. Maybe hearing the word “power” will convince the kids that this is cool and important? Or not. Either way, at least the darn task will be off of your to-do list. Silver Linings Playbook, my friends.