It's that time of the year again. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, which signifies the start of Lent. And that means it's time to go through another Digital Declutter phase. I would like to invite anyone who reads this to start their own Digital Declutter.
If you don't know what a Digital Declutter is, it is an exercise I read about in Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism book. It's almost like a Digital Detox or a Digital Sabbath. The main differences are that you do it for at least 30 days, and that you are replacing addictive digital activities with analog activities. For instance, instead of browsing social media at night, you read books, or learn a new craft like cooking, or learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar, etc...
I suppose the easiest way to understand it is to look at the Digital Declutter rules I'll be using to guide me this year. I'm using the same rules from last year. The main highlights are that in addition to not using social media at all, there will be no blogging done as well.
Of course you don't have to follow the same rules I made for myself. You can create your own set of rules and do it at your own time. My main motivation for this post was to invite people to give Digital Declutter a try. If you have any questions regarding this, you can find ways to contact me on this page, but sending an email is the best option.
Have fun going offline, I know I will. Peace be with you and see y'all online on Easter Sunday.
Focus on consuming information that you know you need right now
Trying to consume everything to learn something, is not the best use of time. It is better to consume information that you know you need right now. Consuming information that you might need in the future, in other words reading just in case you will need it, is a waste of time.
We can't go on a walk, or a run, or a bike ride without sharing photos that we did so. We can't read a book without sharing a photo of the book we are reading. We can't drink a latte without first sharing a photo of it. We can't eat without sharing a photo of the food we are eating. We I can't listen to music without sharing what song we're I'm listening to. We can't live our lives without documenting a part of it — if not all of it — online.
Why? Why are we doing all this? Why do we feel the need to do all this? Does anybody else think that's not normal? I've been asking myself those questions for months now.
There's lots of advice on what to do to take control of your data online. For instance, you should have all your blog posts and photos under your domain name, so you keep control of them. And if you're not concerned about that, there's lots of advice on what platform is the best for photo-blogging, long-form blogging, micro-blogging, etc... There's all sorts of advice regarding the best ways to manage your data online. But no one seems to be asking the question, why?
In this article, Tiago Forte quotes David Allen on the benefits of having an organized reading list available all the time. The reason being, is that life is full of these random moments where we don't have anything to do. Having an organized reading list can come in handy during those moments. It is better to spend that time reading something good, than to spend that time browsing social media or consuming junk information.
I think the reason I’m always critical of my time when writing posts for this site, is because the time I spend writing blog posts, is time not spent with my family. I may be in the same house as them, at times even in the same room, but during those moments when I'm writing, I’m not really with them.
You might be wondering, where is this coming from? It’s coming from the realization that my kids are growing up so fast. My eldest son for instance, is going to start school this year.
I fear that I'm losing my time with them. That window where they think it’s still cool to play with dad, I feel like that window of time is shrinking every day.
Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with my kids. And let’s be honest, time spent with your kids is never going to be enough. They will grow up and eventually leave to have their own families. You can't hang on to them forever.
This is a list of rules that I'm going to follow for the remainder of Lent. In hindsight I should have started this as soon as Lent started, but oh well. Better late than never.
These rules are based off v2.0. There's not much modifications from the previous rules I had. The biggest change in this set of rules, is that I'm not allowing myself to do any blogging whatsoever. I already feel anxious and excited about that one. It will be a good challenge.
And so without further ado, my Lent digital declutter starts now. You can find the rules below. See y'all online on Easter Sunday.
We were notified last week that we could now get the Covid-19 vaccine. Good timing too, since our state governor decided to reopen Texas 100% and took away the mask mandate.
After two days...
We got our 1st dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. I thought it was going to be a drive-through setup, but it was not. And so we had to bring Davin and Caleb along with us, as we fell in line with other people. Had I known it wasn't a drive-through, we would have left Davin and Caleb at the babysitter.
Thankfully, once we got into the vaccination center, we found it to be a very organized event.
The highlight of last week was a birthday celebration for our little guy. Shout out to the wife for the wonderful decorations and theme. She really outdid herself this time around.
This cake not only looks good, but also taste good. What the Harry Potter design hides, is a delicious Ube flavored cake. Yum yum!
One thing that I thought was a great idea, is to take pictures of your kids as they hit some milestones. Then you can use those pictures as decorations for the birthday party, or just add it to a family photo album. It's a nice way to look back and see how much your child has grown.
After watching the horrible ending on the k-drama Iris, I kinda lost my appetite for watching TV shows. However, I still wanted to watch... something. So, last week I decided to watch some anime instead. I'm watching Kuroko's Basketball on Netflix and I'm enjoying it so far.
Last week I intentionally decreased the amount of stuff I've been reading. This is to give my brain a chance to digest what I've just read.
I've also taken to adding articles/posts that I want to read, into my Are.na Bookmarks/Reading List bucket. This seems to help decrease the unease that I feel, from not being able to immediately read interesting articles/posts. Since I know that I will eventually get to them someday in the future, it allows my brain to relax and focus on the current task at hand.
Since I have been trying to read less, a problem that I'm running into is what to do with my free time when I can't read. I would prefer to work on my digital garden, but I cannot do so when I'm not at home. This is because my notes in Obsidian, while synced to a Github repo, are not easy to work with via my phone. So, I now have a lot more time to think through things because I'm trying to read less, but during those times I can't work on my digital garden. That's one big limitation with my Obsidian setup.
That said, maybe I should look at it as a benefit in some way. I shouldn't be using my phone that much anyway.
There it is again. That feeling of dread. Or anxiety. That feeling of a burn out that doesn’t want to go away. Like there’s a hole in my chest that I can’t fill. I can’t quite describe it. It comes when I’m not distracted. When I’m alone with my thoughts. And it lingers unless I push it out of my mind with prayer.
I was fine during my digital declutter. But as soon as it ended, it came back slowly. Whenever I think about what to write next, I get overwhelmed. And I can’t explain it. I’m making my online activities a scapegoat here, but I have no other explanation for it. The only thing that significantly changed for me this week, was me coming off my digital declutter.
And so I’m going into digital declutter mode indefinitely. I’ll probably keep posting entries to this journal. But I’m going dark on the rest of my blogs and websites. I don’t know when this new digital declutter will end. Maybe it will become my new normal. Maybe not. Either way, I once again need a break from all the stuff I do online.
I know I said I'm going dark on the rest of my blogs. But I might make an exception for my music blog.