Productivity, Travel

7 tech tasks for a long layover

Detroit Metro Airport
Detroit Metro Airport. Photo credit: Enrique Serrano

‘Tis the season for travel. Whether you’re going to grandmother’s house or jetting off for a romantic trip to Paris, you may find yourself on a plane, train or even riding in an automobile during the holiday season. What will you do to pass the time while en route to your destination?

Reading, scrolling through Facebook, or people watching are a few popular pastimes. But, if you have an internet connection, why not use that time for a tech cleanse and tune-up?

Here are seven things you can do while traveling to ease your boredom, feel productive and help you start fresh in 2019.

  1. Delete old emails.

I manage six email addresses. My inbox has become so cluttered that I’m starting to miss the important messages because they’re buried under discount offers on shoes or the latest news alert. The best Christmas gift I can give myself is to pare down an inbox with several thousand emails to less than a hundred.

  1. Unsubscribe to emails.

Maybe I still want my discount offers on shoes. But now that my kids are post-college, I don’t need alerts about the next soccer camp sign-up. Weeding out email subscriptions that no longer serve my needs drastically reduces clutter.

  1. Create rules and folders for emails.

If you want to receive an email yet don’t want it clogging your general inbox, set up a folder. Email applications like Outlook or Gmail allow users to set rules for messages that will send the content to a designated folder.

  1. Archive or delete photos on your smartphone.

How many photos do you need of your hand holding a Starbuck’s coffee? And what about the 12 selfies you took before finally getting one decent enough to post? Pictures take up a lot of space on your phone. Archiving the photos in the cloud or deleting the unloved images permanently leaves room to capture new memories.

  1. Review the people and accounts you’re following on social media.

Has your second-grade classmate worn out his or her welcome on your Facebook wall? Is there an ex you really don’t want to see anymore? Maybe it is time to let go. At the very least, on some social media channels, you can hide posts while still remaining friends.

  1. Find new “friends.”

Perhaps you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to learn a new skill or rededicate yourself to an old hobby. You may want to consider finding Facebook Pages, groups, or Instagram accounts that dovetail with your interests and aims.

  1. Delete old posts.

Why not start the New Year with a slimmer version of your social media self? We’ve all posted things that, in retrospect, make us cringe. Perhaps it was oversharing about a breakfast toast or a screed published in a moment of pique. Give your social media channels an inspection and a scrub. You’ll feel much better once you’re done.

These are just seven ideas. What would you add?

The latest version of my book, Erasing the Past, is now available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and many other outlets. The paperback version will be available soon.

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