The Focus Course

Digital Declutter: Quick Check In

We’re about a third of the way through our digital declutter, how’s it been so far?

  • What has been the hardest optional tech to refrain from so far?
  • What has surprised you?
  • What discomfort did you feel as a result of doing the digital declutter? Did you find it unbearable?

Why the Declutter?

So as a quick reminder, we’ve got to come back to our why. What is the underlying value of continuing this 30-day process. A lack of clarity as to why we’re engaging with this activity will likely result in a less-than-desired outcome.

Ok, so real quick.

  • The 30-day declutter is a stepping stone toward making lasting change in daily technology use.

  • During the 30-days we should explore activities that we find meaningful and enjoyable.

  • If the ultimate goal is to reduce technology use to that which is truly necessary and beneficial, we must start by removing all optional technology. Then, reintroduce technologies which will truly support our values.

  • The 30-day declutter acts as a detox to the addictive nature of some tools, giving us the clarity of mind needed to make objective decisions about what technology is truly essential when it comes time to reintroduce them back into our life.

Helpful Words

Reading back through Digital Minimalism I found some of Cal’s tips helpful.

Technology Rules: Make sure your technology rules aren’t too vague or overly ambitious. Instead of no social media. Define what that will mean for you. Reset all social media passwords, logout devices, and remove all social apps. Getting specific about your technology rules will help you achieve your aim. But also keeping in mind there’s no need to get overly ambitious. No screens for 30 days may be admirable, but may not be practical. Maybe set specific times during the day, or certain locations in your home you’ll refrain from viewing screens.

Detox Symptoms: There’s a good chance you will experience a level of discomfort the first week or two of with the removal of your optional tech. Fight the urge to check things you’ve decided to remove. The desire for the just checks will fade as time goes on.

Pursue Leisurely Activities: And as already alluded to, ”aggressively explore higher-quality activities to fill in the time left vacant by the optional technologies you’re avoiding. You want to arrive at the end of the declutter having rediscovered the type of activities that generate real satisfaction, enabling you to confidently craft a better life—one in which technology serves only a supporting role for the more meaningful ends.”

Keep Going

My guess is this next 10 days is going to be equally as challenging as the first. The novelty of the declutter has worn off, and we may have even felt some of the benefits of pulling back from the extra tech in our life.

We’re not looking for a band-aid to our overwhelming technology problem. We need a whole new philosophy of the ways we adopt and utilize tech in our daily life. The declutter is setting us up for lasting change of our technology habits that ultimately support our life values.

If you’ve slipped up and gone back to some of your optional tech that you said you were going to give up, start again today. Revisit your technology rules and clarify them. If vague, get a little more specific of how you are going to resist the pull to cave. If overly ambitious, get more specific about acceptable use vs non-acceptable use may also help set you up for success.

There are lots of great examples in Digital Minimalism about how people structured their technology rules to better suit their exact situation. Not to mention encouragement from those that have gone through this process already and now are reaping the benefits.

Clarity is coming. And with it a sense of margin and calm. Keep going, you got this!


Hero image by Samantha Gades via Unsplash.

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