the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

Digital Minimalism - 6 Months On

I started my digital declutter almost 6 months ago... and after months of me writing about nothing else, it's time for me to wrap things up and move on.

I'm wary of now calling myself a 'digital minimalist' because 1. it sounds pretentious and 2. I don't know how minimalist I really am. Safer to just say that I read the book, to my own surprise actually started doing the digital declutter recommended by the book, and having ended up changing quite a few of my habits, and I'm rather happy that I did.

My main goals for doing it were to boost my productivity, and to get away from some of the more negative parts of online life. Things are better (but not perfect) on the productivity front, and much, much better on the negativity of online life part.

Six months on:

  • I still don't follow the news and have no urge to find out what's going on the world. I still think this has been the biggest boost to my productivity and general mood.

  • I've visited Facebook about 3 times. Every time I do, I'm reminded why my life is better off without it being a regular feature. I wouldn't go as far as closing my account, and I'm interested in what at least some people are up to. Having not yet figured out how best to use it, I mostly just don't use it at all.

  • I no longer follow politics/economics blogs. I do miss some of the interesting things I used to read (especially non-political), but it's mostly too close to the news and current affairs, and generally not relevant to things I'm more interested in.

  • I spend less time with my phone at hand and I enjoy being free of the reaching-for-my-phone compulsiveness I used to have, and still see in many other people.

  • The boredom/solitude/being alone with your thoughts aspect of the experience has been rewarding and has become something of a renewed interest for me.

There are two areas where things could be better:

  • I still end up going down online rabbit holes. It happens far less frequently than before, but my attempts to manage it via "operating procedures" aren't always successful. I'm in a slightly dangerous limbo where it's infrequent enough that I don't think it's a huge problem, but would be happy for it to not be a problem at all.

  • With the exception of writing more by hand, I've not yet resolved the "do more physical things" versus "not fun" conflict. This is partly because I have very little free time these days, and perhaps I'd do more physical things if that weren't the case. Either way, my DIY list is as long as ever.

And with that, it's time for me to stop talking about Digital Minimalism. Onwards.

{2020.01.06 14:24}

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