It’s now been 4 weeks into my digital detox, so its time to review how that’s been going.
I have said this before and it absolutely remains the case but 4 weeks ago my attention was completely hijacked. I had fallen into a trap that I had enabled and partially built for myself.
- I had 50 podcasts that I wouldn’t listen to.
- I was subscribed to sites that would collectively pump hundreds of posts every day.
- I was subscribed to email newsletters and services that would constantly spam me.
- I was part of a few social networks that stole minutes from me throughout the day.
- I found myself incapable of concentrating for a sustained period of time.
- I would take my phone with me to bed (with the lie that it was acting as a clock, but it really wasn’t). My sleep was terrible as I would wake up in the middle of the night and I could not get back to sleep.
- The same phone would be taken with me as we played with the kids and I would let my attention focus on this thing (even if it was for seconds or minutes).
- I would visit ‘news’ websites that were blasting bite sized pieces of information that added nothing to my life in the interest of ‘staying current’.
- I was texting people, thinking that this was enough for us as communication. Sadly it was nowhere near where it should be.
Sadly this had been going on for years. What is even sadder, is that looking around me, I know that I am not alone. If any of the above has resonated with you, then I honestly encourage you to try and read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and start thinking about how you want to manage your life.
Like a switch that had been turned on, I was finally able to be more present around people around me. I have also been more present to people away from me having phoned a number of friends and family that I used to only text.
Sure that number could be a little better but this is barely the first month. There will be plenty of time to review.
One of the things that I implemented pretty early on is to write, on paper, every morning for about an hour. For sure the amount of writing notes I took in this month far exceed what I have done in a very very long time - if ever.
This has been one of the biggest joys that I have gotten back. In the space of this time I have managed to read 4 books, 3 issues of the Economist and several mega articles on the internet. Wait, what?
Somehow I have also been able to get some actual drawing done as well. Not just for In Abeyance but also randomly. Its a slow start but one that I have wanted to include as part of my daily routine for years.
This has been the greatest gift that I could give myself. My evenings are now filled with reading and the occasional show.