As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve recently reduced the amount of time I’m spending online. It had to happen. For the most part, it wasn’t productive and often just led me down into the risky waters of comparison. It goes without saying, if you’re constantly plugged in to what others are doing, you essentially unplug from yourself. Priority issue there huh?
So yes, it was time to tip the scale back in my favour and reduce the digital noise. Distractions are just a click away and I needed to turn the focus back on myself, my business and those around me. Here are a few of the steps I’ve taken so far.
I’ve finally purged all push notifications (okay, everything except the Gmail mail checker in Chrome on my desktop). All they did was disrupt my concentration – constantly! Did I really need to be alerted as soon as someone tweeted me, liked my Facebook page or a photo on Instagram? Nope.
This has nothing to do with not appreciating those interactions with others, because I do, but they were constantly breaking my focus and taking me away from being present (something I’m working on this year!). Plus, I had multiple devices alerting me concurrently and I was ready to throw them all out of the window when they alerted me within seconds of each other. So I figured it was time to save my devices and my sanity!
Many of the emails that show up my Inbox never need my immediate attention and I’m sure this is true for most of us. These emails now get filtered into folders and never show up in my main Inbox and I never receive an alert for them. The folders are visible when I have Gmail open, so I know when I have unread emails and I just check them out when I want to. Best thing I ever did!
I also only have one email account feeding into my iPhone and iPad. I’ve accumulated multiple email addresses throughout the years, but I just check the less active ones manually here and there.
DELETED MY FEEDLY ACCOUNT
While there was a lot of awesome content in there, it was just an excuse to “fuck the dog” far too much. One post lead to another and well, you know the rest. I was spending way too much time reading about other peoples lives, looking at work other people were designing or reading articles about how I should do this or that, and it was taking me away from actually ya know, doing.
Besides, as I follow a few of the sites I was subscribed to in other ways, I see when a new post is available anyway. And now that I’m managing my inbox better, I’m plan on subscribing to more blogs via email (so make sure you have that option available) so that I can read them in my down time.
I know I could of of kept the subscriptions in there and simply not logged in, but I’m just not that disciplined. If I have a carrot in dangling in front of me, I’ll usually take it. So, I dumped the carrot. Simple.
The results so far?
My digital detox will continue over the coming weeks but for now this is a good start and it’s working. As I’ve already said, my productivity and focus levels are super high these days, however I’ve also noticed that I am feeling far more creative too. I’m sure this is due (to some extent) to the fact I’m absorbing less “inspiration” on a daily basis. I back relying on my gut, worrying less about what others are doing and I just feel more confident all round in the decisions I’m making. Works for me!
What about you? In need of a digital detox? I’m sure if you look at your online activity closely enough and be honest with yourself about where you’re bombing valuable time, it wouldn’t hurt. Even just a little.