I’m convinced that digital cleanse is more dangerous than physical looting. At least for everything you can, or can’t, do with that time. Digital minimalism requires balance, like almost everything in life. First, start by rejecting the FOMO and focusing on intentional use.
Here are some tricks to start walking the path of digital minimalism and be more ultraproductive.
1. Monitor your C:P ratio (consumption:production)
I heard this on Quora for the first time. Even the educational content may not contribute anything. It is hard for everyone.
Many use APPs to track their habits and make sure they meet their “intentional consumption” on a daily basis. My method to do this, but at a more transversal level, is through the high-performance algorithm that I’m still designing, since 2016.
2. Use an APP that analyzes your habits
The Coach.me APP is ideal for this purpose. I am one of those who lives under the mantra “don’t flirt at all with complexity unless it’s necessary” and “use technology to use less technology.” I think this trick is an attempt to use technology to drive you. Most of the high return activities in the digital plan are those in which you can take advantage of the Internet to improve the critical aspects of your offline life.
3. Practice the information diet
The modern human uses about 11 hours, of the 24 that he possesses, in a perpetual way of consuming information. Fascinating. We’re not talking about eating, sleeping, etc., but drinking content incessantly from the screens to the speakers or headphones. As worrisome as obesity and sugar, we’ve developed a compulsive obsession with texts, instant messages, emails, social networks, downloads, videos, updates, and tweets.
Consumers need to take responsibility for the food they eat. Of course, but we also have to create a sustainable movement for the consumption of information, just like the one we have created in our diet.
I grew up thinking that the news makes us better citizens. Now it seems an absurd idea to me. Instead, consume a particular type of information in a limited amount of time, it helps you to be more thoughtful, informed and even wise to a certain point.
Test Raptitude. My final trick here is to try to be intentional with the information and content you consume per day.
4. Meditation retreat
Definitely, in my case, Vipassana is going to be something that I practice every year. The idea of disconnecting 10 days a year and being isolated from everything, even to maintain eye contact with people, is a strong force for digital minimalism. Simplifying: closed eyes, silence, without speaking, meditation, being with you and your mind, realizing things, doing things with incredible slowness.
The only words you should listen to once a year for 10 or 20 days should be your meditative guides.
5. Take a sabbatical in social media
Mine lasted 120 days and was called Social Media OFF experiment. Your “experiment” towards digital minimalism can vary 30 days, 60 days, 3 months, half a year. There are people like Patrick Rhone or Ed Sheeran who have disconnected for 12 months even. Neil Gaiman did it in 2013.
Would you dare to try it?
6. You’re a person, not a product.
And last, but not least, this is the excellent PRO trick that I remind myself of every day.
Photo credit: Dan Silvestre.