Instantly free up more time
If you find yourself in a hole. Stop digging.
Smart phones can now tell you if you’re over indulging in digital media. The issue is not how much time we are spending where we are spending it.
I’m a technology person. Always have been. I love using technology to make things, to learn and better my understanding in new topics, and often to indulge for many hours at a time until my eyes go bright red.
In fact my right eye right now is itchy. I’m sure it’s red. I’m using a 15" Macbook with the brightness all the way down, the ‘night shift’ is on and I’m using a Google Chrome plugin to change Medium from a white background to black with white text.
But I love it.
And if I love it, it’s worth it. Because I believe you should spend your time where it matters to you.
Is using digital devices with screens worse than using the software running on them? No, because the software is a tool, not a digital device.
Is writing this story on a digital device worse than by hand? No, because it’s more efficient.
Ultimately we are trying to achieve tasks, and in many ways digital interfaces improve our efficiency in doing so.
So use digital devices, but be sure to not let them use you.
Using digital devices to achieve tasks sound simple, but many task orientated apps use powerful loops to keep us engaged — even if we don’t want to be.
Consider this. Each productivity app you use has a team of people working on building loops within the app to keep you engaged. Why? Because if you stop using the app, you’re no longer engaged, therefore you no longer a customer.
You will notice them, they are called notifications.
I can hear you saying, yes but my notification are coming from real people, so it’s ok…is it? The notifications loop was made up, the like 👍 and heart 💓 are there to get you to pull the other user back into the app. So it that productive?
Turn your notifications off. Turn all your notifications off. You won’t miss them. If you really need them you will go back in and turn the ones on you need.
A relaxed approach to digital minimalism:
Minimalism is not about doing less, it should be about focusing you time and effort on what you love. If that’s a coffee and caching up with friends (who happen to be on social media) then go for it.
Just remember, it’s not the medium you use, it’s the message you create.
Live, learn, focus.