If you have followed my blog for a little while, you probably know how much I love minimalism and that it changed my life for the better. In my opinion, minimalism does not stop at decluttering your home and being mindful about things in the physical world. Since we spend more and more time in the digital word, digital minimalism is a great way to learn about being more intentional with the time you spend on digital devices; especially your phone.
While smartphones are an amazing invention, it’s actually crazy how MUCH time we spend on them. The research firm Dscout found that the average person spends a whopping 2,617 times tapping, swiping and clicking their phone screen.
Plus, spending too much time your smartphone goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, stress levels amongst millennials have risen to 12% and are almost double the percentage of the baby boomer generation. I was born in 1994 and I think it’s shocking how much more my generation suffers from anxiety compared to my parent’s generation.
To be honest with you, it was also super hard for me to become more mindful of the way I use my smartphone. It feels almost like a form of “de-conditioning” because it has become so normal over the years to carry your phone around everywhere you go and even sleep next to it. But once you do it, you will see the benefits and I now love digital minimalism!
If you find yourself wanting to have more time, these 7 Digital Minimalism Tips are for you:
1. Declutter the apps on your phone
We tend to have waaay too many apps on our phone. When we are bored, it is such an easy temptation to just find an app and get lost in it. Before you know it, you have spent another 15 minutes doing something that doesn’t serve you. So only keep your favourite apps that you really need, value and love.
2. Turn off notifications
Rather than being purposeful in what gets our attention, we are often bombarded with all kinds of different push notifications that make it hard to focus and lure us into checking them because we are curious about who liked our photo or what text we received. To overcome this struggle and reclaim back your rime, it is helpful to turn off notifications. You can assign certain times of the day where you check your texts and social media and the rest of the day, you have peace of mind and can focus on the things that really serve you in the long-run. After all, when things are urgent, your friends can still call you.
3. Do solitude walks in nature
There is something magical in leaving your phone at home and spending time in nature without distractions. I currently live in Helsinki and just enjoy sitting on the beach or a rock and looking at the water. It grounds me and brings me not only peace but also reminds me to be grateful to live on this beautiful earth.
4. Find hobbies that don’t include digital devices
This one is super important and can profoundly increase your quality of life. Just think back to what you loved doing when you were little and there was no phone around. Did you love reading or practicing a certain kind of sport? Did you love singing, playing music, painting or pottery? There are so many beautiful things we somehow forget about when we grow up but it’s really magical and fulfilling to keep some of these meaningful hobbies alive. So rather than consuming all the time, we also get into our creative power and manifest something in the real world. Personally, I love singing, reading, doing yoga and I recently started learning calligraphy.
5. Make your commute time more meaningful
Let’s be honest. The odds of using our digital devices while commuting are incredibly high. On buses, planes and trains, you will find the majority of people looking on their screens. However, you can also use this time in a more productive way. So next time you travel by public transport, you could take a compelling book with you, write poetry or even initiate conversations with the people around you, if you feel like it.
6. Be More Intentional With Social Media
I think we all know how addicting and time-consuming social media can be. You scroll through Instagram and forget everything around you while thinking “Oh, that’s a cool post“, “Let me check out this profile”, etc. Instead, you can try limiting the IG sites you visit to the ones that you really love and that make you feel good about yourself. Cal Newport, the author of the best-selling book “Digital Minimalism” and basically the Marie Kondo of technology, describes it the following way:
Digital Minimalism – A philosophy of technology use in which you focus on your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else
7. Have phone-free zones at home
Even in our homes, we often take our phones everywhere we go –to the kitchen, to the living room, to the bedroom and even to the bathroom. However, it is super beneficial to set up phone-free zones in our home, such as the bedroom or the bathroom. Plus, we prevent being tempted to gaze at our phone directly after waking up or before falling asleep.
I hope you can use some of these tips on digital minimalism. I always find it amazing how we have the ability to shift our well-being and life quality simply by making small habit changes. We really are the culmination of our daily decisions.
I wish you a wonderful day filled with love and light,