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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Digital Life

Deliberate Consumption

Most people do not consume content deliberately. They just click on whatever moves through their feed.

Deliberate consumption means you consume what you decide on beforehand. If you consume less and are intentional about it, you'll get more out of the content you consume.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Digital Life

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Your Digital Life

https://medium.com/@skooloflife/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-your-digital-life-d04b6e86c99b

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Cluttered digital lives

If people's physical lives were anywhere near as cluttered as their digital lives, their kitchen sinks would be full of dishes, their closets would be jammed, and their houses would be in chaos.

But our digital lives are limited to our devices, so we don't notice how messy they are. Our news feeds are filled with updates we don't care about. We're subscribed to 100 podcasts but listen to only a few.

Become a Digital Minimalist

We can reclaim our time and our attention. Unlike a physical space, we can wipe the slate clean in our digital environment.

If you clear apps from your phone, nothing will happen. You can always reinstall the ones you use.

Digital Declutter

  • Clear your browser history.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, podcasts, blogs, and anything else you consume.
  • Delete all the apps that are currently on your phone and desktop or laptop (as long as you don’t have to buy a new version of anything).

Consider the value

To find out what to keep, determine how much value something is adding to your life.
Decide which are "optional" that you can take a break from for thirty days. As a rule, consider the technology optional unless its temporary removal would harm your life.

Reducing the Impact of Distraction

If you want to reduce the impact of distractions, design an environment conducive to thatWillpower doesn't work. Checking email or Facebook is an impulse, not a choice.

  • Use a Distraction Blocker.
  • Work in Full-screen mode.
  • Leave your phone out of the room.
  • Keep your inbox closed by default.

A Digital Life That Sparks Joy

Every app you use, social network you join, link you click, blog you read, podcast you consume impacts your mindset and thinking. 

  • Does it make you happier?
  • More productive?
  • Successful?
  • Speak to your heart?

If the answer is no, don't allow it into your world.

Deliberate Consumption

Most people do not consume content deliberately. They just click on whatever moves through their feed.

Deliberate consumption means you consume what you decide on beforehand. If you consume less and are intentional about it, you'll get more out of the content you consume.

Go Analog

  • Carry a physical notebook. It's a distraction-free tool.
  • Read physical books. We retain more when we read physical books.
  • Meet people in person. The digital to human contact ratio in most of our lives are entirely out of balance.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Digital minimalism

Digital minimalism is a "philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimised activities that strongly support things you val...

The principles of digital minimalism
  1. Clutter is costly. Digital minimalists recognise that cluttering their time and attention with too many devices, apps, and services creates an overall negative cost that can swamp the small benefits that each individual item provides in isolation.
  2. Optimisation is important.To truly extract the full potential benefit of a technology, it’s necessary to think carefully about how you’ll use it.
  3. Intentionality is satisfying. Digital minimalists derive significant satisfaction from their general commitment to being more intentional about how they engage with new technologies.
Our relationship with technology

"The underlying behaviours we hope to fix are ingrained in our culture, and […] they’re backed by powerful psychological forces that empower our base instincts. To re-establish control, we need to move beyond tweaks and instead rebuild our relationship with technology from scratch, using our deeply held values as a foundation." - Cal Newport

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Digital minimalism

This philosophy is guided by the idea that we should be in control over what kinds of media we consume, not have our habits dictated to us by technology.

This applies to the office as ...

Taking Leisure Seriously

Instead of defaulting into the low-quality obsessions that leave us wondering where the time has gone, we should cultivate high-quality hobbies that lead to lasting satisfaction.

Re-evaluate your relationship to technology:
  • First allow for a period of abstinence.
  • Follow this by a selective re-introduction of only those tools and technologies that pass a more rigorous cost-benefit analysis than you typically impose.
Addiction and Modernity

They go hand-in-hand.

Addiction seems to be the inevitable consequence of our culturally-created environment changing faster than our biologically-hardwired brains.

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Noisy Existence
Noisy Existence

Our lives are infiltrated by noise and distractions.

We let ourselves get distracted by phone rings, notifications, email, etc., which take up most of our day.

Even when there is no ...

Getting Bored is Crucial

While our entire day is stuffed with noises of all kinds, getting quiet time, doing nothing gets more and more crucial. We need to be able to look at nothing, with no input going inside us, listening to nothing and get in a state of 'boredom', with no smartphone or computer to poke your mind.

We don't get any bright ideas in front of the computer, but the mind can activate while driving, in the shower, and at times when we are not engaged in any mental activity.

Let Your Mind Wander

Studies show that letting your mind wander activates it. It makes you more productive and goal-oriented, as you have provided your mind with some space, to play around and grow.

If you are sitting, you will automatically pick up your phone (or iPad), so a better way is to go running or hiking, with the phone turned off, and let your mind refresh itself doing anything, daydreaming, singing or planning.

Digital hoarding

Is the reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives, to the point of loss of perspective, which eventually results in stress and disorganisati...

Recognize digital hoarding problems

How can you tell if you have a digital hoarding problem?

Think back over the last week and see if you can remember a time when you struggled to find a digital file on your phone or computer – maybe someone’s address in an email chain, or a really great cocktail you Instagrammed for posterity.

Digital hoarding and online storage

Platforms like Google Drive are “open temptations” for hoarding because they make it so easy for us to accumulate files and almost never prompt us to review them, The sense that something is retrievable if we just store it somewhere provides a false sense of security. And there’s plenty of storage available

Our inability to focus

Two significant challenges are destroying our ability to focus.

  1. We are increasingly overwhelmed with distractions from various connected devices.
  2. We...
Practice mindfulness

Our biggest mistake is how we start the day. Instead of checking email on your phone, try a simple mindfulness practice when you wake up. 

It can be quietly taking a few deep breaths or meditating for 20 to 30 minutes.

Organize tasks

A common mistake is to fill your calendar with the wrong tasks.
A meeting can break your day into two pieces, each too small to do anything hard in.

Instead, take advantage of your body's natural rhythms. Focus on complex, creative tasks in the morning and schedule your meetings for the afternoon.

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William James
“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
William James
Attention Management

It's is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, finding flow, and maximizing focus, so you can create a life of choice, around things that are important to you.

It is the ability to recognize when your attention is being stolen (or has the potential to be stolen) and to instead keep it focused on the activities you choose. 

Choosing What You Attend To

Attention management offers a deliberate approach that puts you back in control, by managing both external and internal factors.

Practicing attention management means fighting back against the distractions and creating opportunities throughout your day to support your priorities. 

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The 5-Hour Rule
The 5-Hour Rule

The most successful, busy people in the world dedicate at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning.

The 5-Hour Rule is the most critical practice we can all adopt for long-term career suc...

The Simple Math 

It takes about 6,400 hours of class time and studying to get a 4-year degree. Assume that it takes you only 5,000 hours to master your field.

While you are happy that you've prepared for your profession, the knowledge you've learned is fast becoming outdated. We can safely assume that in 10 years, 50% of the facts in the field would be outdated. This means that for you, just to keep up in your current field, you'd need to learn 5 hours per week, 50 weeks a year.

Trends To Consider

When we consider the future of work, there are two trends we should keep a note of. They are:

  1. Half-life of knowledge
  2. Law of increasing learning

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Defining Retirement
Defining Retirement

Retirement doesn't have to mean that we stop working altogether.

It can mean different things to different people, and some people take to retirement as a way to work towards what t...

Reframing Retirement

Retirement can simply mean to maximize one's resources so that one can finally live life on one's own terms. It can mean continuing to work in projects that one finds interesting or fulfilling.

The core takeaway of all the personal definitions of retirement is Freedom. If one can do whatever is desired without worrying about resources or time, a fulfilled life ensues.

Shockingly Unproductive
  • Studies show that employees spend more than five hours per day reading and replying to emailsWhile it may seem like urgent work, email is not the best kind of work.
Facilitate Deep Work

A few smart strategies that can be deployed:

  1. Installing pods for deep work while having common areas for collaborative work.
  2. Wearing headphones that are easily seen to signal that you are not to be disturbed.
  3. Turning your office into a library, following the same culture of quietness where everyone is hushed and respectful.
Email is not Real Work

Real work, by definition, should be rare, valuable and cognitively demanding.

Email does not check any of these boxes, and is, therefore, a pseudo work.

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Core Factors In A Happy Life

Research shows 70% of your happiness comes from quality relationships with your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

Yet, the biggest factor that interferes with your relationsh...

Reverse FOMO

FOMO is the fear of missing out, especially the latest internet hysteria. But FOMO is not the real problem - Reverse FOMO is.  By always being online, you are missing out on real life. An overwhelming online presence is replacing all the things that really make a good life.

Values, Not Lifehacks

Tech is only a tool. How you use it can make it good or not so good.

We don't need a lifehack to control our phone. We need values to ensure that technology serves us, and not the other way around.

Find out what you value in life. Then ask how technology supports those values. Set rules that work for them. If you don't, tech will fill that void by default.

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