Evening Ritual: Cull & curate your daily photos

Most of us take photos all day and then barely look at them again. We “capture” so much of our day, taking multiple photos from every possible angle of everything in our lives from our food to our kids to our pets and our clothes. But out of all the photos we take each day, how many are actually worth keeping? 15 percent? 10?

The irony in this age of obsessive photo taking is that it is actually really hard at the end of the day to remember what happened. Have you ever actually tried to mentally walk back through the chronology of your day? Unless you practice, it’s very hard to remember what happened and when.

Here’s a simple evening ritual that will take 5-10 minutes and will enhance your memory of your day while also keeping your life less cluttered.

The ritual is simple: each evening sometime before you fall asleep take a few minutes and scroll back through all of your photos from that day. As you scroll through your day, pause on the photos that make you smile. When you see several similar photos, make yourself choose the best one or two, and delete all of the rest. At the end of the session, you’ve accomplished two important tasks: you’ve curated your memory stash (photos) and you’ve solidified your actual memories of the day by reviewing them.

Here’s the thing about all of those photos: If you go through and delete the ones you don’t care about each night, it takes only a few minutes. If you do this occasionally instead of daily it becomes a chore. If you do it never, it becomes a burden. More clutter in the (digital) closets of your life.

Another thing to consider: If you never go back through your photos and delete them, is it because you think they are all amazing and worth keeping? Or is it because they don’t actually matter at all?

Making time for this short little ritual each evening is a surprising way to review your day. You see patterns of what’s important to you emerge. You become aware of how much time you waste on things that don’t actually matter to you at all. You begin to see how you spend your day. And you learn to remember things from your day so they aren’t all a blur. A few minutes invested at the end of each evening gives you important insights into the rest of your life.

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