Digital Declutter 2019: Have Your Cake + Eat it Too? (Week 4 + Wrap-up)
Wondering why I’m doing a Digital Declutter for September 2019? Check out this post first.
The sad news: all good things must come to an end.
The happy news: all challenging things must come to an end.
At first, I thought doing a Digital Declutter was going to be easy. Famous last words, right?
Overall, the process was easy – I use technology less than your “average” user, especially your “average” entrepreneur – but it also had an unintended consequence: I began using social media more effectively.
Let’s not forget that I pushed some MAJOR projects forward during this month, thanks to my increased focus, but did I stick to the true spirit of Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism?
No. No, I did not.
In theory, I believe that I COULD do a Digital Declutter in the full/true spirit of what Cal talks about in his book, but that didn’t happen this time.
Why? Because I didn’t follow one of the most important rules/concepts that Cal puts forth: consciously reclaiming + planning your newfound leisure time.
The most successful digital minimalists, therefore, tend to start their conversion by renovating what they do with their free time – cultivating high-quality leisure before culling the worst of their digital habits … When the void is filled, you no longer need distractions to help you avoid it.
Sometimes, I would fill my “leisure” time with work – I’m an entrepreneur, after all. I didn’t do this in an obsessive way, but I am consciously growing my income right now, which means some extra effort is involved.
Other times, I would read, review notes from other books I’ve read, go for a walk … etc. While all those leisure activities are good, they’re mostly cerebral aka mind-based.
I have a bad habit of living in my head, so having more physically-based activities (other than a ridiculous amount of walking + gym time) would be high on my list for another Digital Declutter. For anyone who has read Cal’s book, he talks about that concept in detail. I remember the chapter fondly. Call me a rebel if you must.
Do I think the Digital Declutter was worth it? Yes.
Would I recommend doing a Digital Declutter to you? Yes, after you read Cal’s book.
Can an entrepreneur do a month-long Digital Declutter + still stay in business? Yes, absolutely.
Did the Digital Declutter have any unexpected side effects? I’m so glad you asked! *wink*
I was surprised by just how much I can get done in a day. To be clear, I work/sit with my laptop for no more than 7 hours a day, usually less. Even with that time, I realized just how much I can accomplish when I’m focused + tuning out distractions. I thought I was already good at this, but damn, now I’m great at it!
Also, spending less time on social media + getting distracted by the extra apps on my phone gave me more time to think.
OK, so maybe YOU don’t want more time to think but hear me out.
Thanks to the Digital Declutter, I was able to clarify the focus of my business + money-making efforts more than any other time in my 15 years as an entrepreneur.
I credit this to not being distracted by what everyone else is doing + fully owning what I’m excited about and shine at. This also makes it easier for me to support fellow entrepreneurs who are kicking ass, doing what I KNOW I have no interest in doing myself.
This extends into my personal life as well. You know that I don’t share much in that realm (other than what goes on within me – my mind is fascinating, folks!), but let’s face facts: I’m 35 years old. I’m not getting any younger (and I don’t want to!).
If my father’s sudden death 13 years ago taught me anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed, and if you’re waiting for the “right time,” it will never come.
There are things in life that I still want to do: things I was to see, experience, and explore.
At this point, nothing is holding me back more than myself, and that’s about to change.
Yep, I’m leaving you on a cliffhanger, my friend.
Next week, I’ll be sharing all the wow-tastic details about what’s next for me (and I have the Digital Declutter to thank for it!).