Digital Declutter: the Plan

If you read my review of Digital Minimalism, you’re aware of the Digital Declutter process. If not, head over to read it and then come back here.

(Note: I did a podcast on my experiment from this book, over at Resilient)

Why

  • To better understand what technologies and practices are worthwhile and valuable for me.
  • To focus more on high-value activities
  • To spend more time reflecting, thinking, and praying.
  • To spend more time reading, creating, repairing.
  • To spend more time in nature.
  • To reset my habits and routines.
  • To help fight the attention economy and the harmful effects it has for discourse, complex thought, and mental health.

What

I am avoiding any unnecessary technologies, and using these questions to help me consider whether a technology is truly critical:

  • Is this absolutely necessary?
  • Could this wait?
  • Does this align with my highest values? (Mutuality, Learning, Resilience)
  • Can I mitigate the harmful effects?
  • Is there another way to accomplish this, even if it would be inconvenient?

I am blocking off time twice a day to check email (once in the morning and once in the afternoon), and letting it buffer in between.

I have eliminated most applications from my phone and blocked social & news sites in my browsers. The only alerts I get from my phone will be for direct people connections (texting, work chat, phone calls, video calls, etc.) or travel (rides, flights, directions, etc.), and my phone will be in “Do Not Disturb” except for core work hours (7-6). My DND is set to allow calls from numbers that are in my contacts.

I will do all my (professional and personal) work from the computer and not my phone.

I will not play video games, read ebooks, or play music & podcasts.

I will do my shopping in stores and I will use the library.

I am establishing operating procedures for my chosen special cases:

  • I can listen to audiobooks, but only with my family
  • On the weekend, I can watch a movie or couple episodes, but only with family or friends
  • I have direct links to Facebook Group/Event pages that I need to check periodically, and will check those once a week

When

I’m beginning tonight, with the start of our Ash Wednesday service and the beginning of Lent.

I’m ending on Easter Sunday (April 21st on this calendar) and the end of Lent.

I am holding “conversation office hours” every day between 4:30 and 5:30 Eastern. You can call me any day during those times.

You can follow along here: #DigitalMinimalism

Todd Grotenhuis @toddgrotenhuis