Digital minimalism 101: Get a focused life with digital declutter
Dealing with overflowing inboxes, e-commerce, social media, and news notifications, your smartphone can make you feel as though your time spent online isn't in your hands. The concept of digital minimalism was established by computer science professor Cal Newport in his book of the same name. This philosophy urges you to invest your online time into a few selected activities that are valuable.
The philosophy of digital minimalism makes you question which digital communication tools add maximum value to your life. It highlights the belief that removing low-value digital noise intentionally and aggressively and optimizing your usage of tools that are important improve the quality of your life. It helps us understand and realize how much time and attention we really want to invest in technology.
Clutter is costly: Using too many apps, online services, and devices can have a negative impact on your mind as you focus less on high-value leisure activities. Optimization is necessary: Newport recommends a digital declutter in which you limit your use or delete some apps, accessing only the important ones. Intentionality is satisfying: This point focuses on the positive aspects of becoming a minimalist.
Define your core values and how technology hurts or helps them to make informed decisions about what to use and when. Take a break from optional technologies like gaming for 30 days. Track what triggers you to use technology and explore other activities like reading, and exercise. Newport recommends setting clear rules for using the tools you re-introduce into life and ignoring everything else.
Instead of feeling lost on social media, go for a walk and leave your phone at home before you head out to clear your mind. Stop clicking "like" on social media to avoid making yourself always available and limit the performative aspects of these tools. Reconnect with your hobbies and try deleting social media from your phone or treat it like a professional task.