To Upgrade Your Leisure, Downgrade Your Phone | Cal Newport
The piece that separates this strategy from the increasingly popular digital-detox concept is that it’s not just about what you avoid but also about figuring out what you should do with your time instead. Stepping away from distracting technology while making no effort to replace it with something better invites backsliding. Seeking meaningful alternatives is so crucial that in Digital Minimalism I suggest that people map out detailed leisure plans to break down their goals, such as achieving a new personal record or finishing a craft project, into weekly milestones and daily habits.
Agreed. Can you imagine doing even just a weekend (2 days) of digital detox without any plans on how to entertain yourself during that time frame? It won't work. You'll be bored to death. Before embarking on any digital detox or digital minimalism attempt, you need to decide on what to do with your free time.
Easy high quality analog activities to engage in are reading books, playing musical instruments and playing board games. You can also do bike rides or do some running or play some sports.
In my case, I also engage in some digital activities like playing video games, blogging, watching TV shows and on some rare occasions, recreational programming (this is how I was able to generate the tags and got my search page working). However, I put a limit on the time I spend on them so that they won't consume all of my free time. It might sound ironic to be playing video games or watching TV shows while practicing digital minimalism, however if these activities add value to your life, you can engage in them as long as they are on a time restriction.
For example, on weekdays:
- I limit playing video games to an hour max.
- I limit TV shows to at most 1 episode per day.
- I limit writing posts on this site to at most 30-45 minutes per post, and limit the number of posts to at most 3 per day. I also try to get it done during my lunch breaks, so it doesn't cut into the free time I have at home.
Usually, I can't even do all of those on the same day because of other responsibilities at home, so I have to pick and choose. The key though is to keep the time restriction in place, so that I have enough free time to engage in some analog activities, like reading books. I've been slacking off on playing the guitar and playing board games, but I always try to make an effort to read books. In fact, one of my goals for 2020 is to read at least 10 books. I managed to finish reading 7 books this year.
Thank you to The Monday Kickoff for always providing links to interesting articles every week.