Before diving into the core topic, let’s look into a quick incident from the life of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who are the wealthiest men alive today.
When Bill and Buffet were kids, one of the mutual friends of their parents asked them what is the biggest secret to success?
Both without overhearing each other said the same answer – “Focus”.
As you know, the rest is history, both Bill and Buffet went on to build their own empires and became one of the top influential figures on the planet.
Even though the secret to success, as they said was so simple, in today’s digital world the biggest void in everyone’s life is the same thing which is “Focus” itself.
You might have read many articles on “Smartphone Addiction”, “Social Media Depression”, “Digital Detox” and so on and so forth. But this article has a different intention…
Which is, you need to confront the reality that these smartphones and social media platforms have become a key part of your life. So it is never practical to eliminate them completely.
What’s more effective is that you need to find ways to use them in the right way so that smartphones and social media platforms become a catalyst to be more productive to achieve your biggest dreams.
Let’s get straight into it and see how Digital Minimalism can help you in that direction…
What’s Digital Minimalism?
Digital Minimalism is an idea which encourages to reduce the usage of smartphones and social media platforms.
In other words, digital minimalism is nothing but getting exposed to the right amount of technology so that you can free up your energy and time to focus on the things you want to do in life.
Programming Your Brain
Now, you might be wondering, how practising digital minimalism can lead to you to become a productivity master.
Hang on, for that, you need to understand the latest findings of your brain.
For 400+ years, it has been believed that we are born with a brain which we need to accept it as the way it is, whether you got it with high IQ or with low IQ or with high memory or with low memory or with high emotional quotient or with low emotional quotient or various such features of your brain.
Recent advancement in Brain Science has discovered that your brain is like a muscle. The brain can be altered even in adulthood. The more you use certain parts of your brain it becomes stronger, this phenomenon is called Neuroplasticity. For example, someone practices being happy, it’s easy for your brain to be happy.
As Andrew Weil – Harvard Medical School Graduate and Celebrity American Doctor – Says:
“Among other things, neuroplasticity means that emotions such as happiness and compassion can be cultivated in much the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play golf and basketball or master a musical instrument and that such practise changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas”
That means, you can alter your brain the way you wanted it to be, but now the question is how to do it through Digital Minimalism…
For that, you need to understand that when you were born on the planet, you came here with a blank slate. On it, everyone started writing your life script, everyone you meet, every book you read, every friend you talk to, your parents, your religious leaders and your teachers… everyone influenced you on how to see the world and how it works.
The problem is, since you were a kid, you accepted all of them and believed everything. This is how you started believing in a certain religion or you are biased to a certain political party.
But now, you have a choice to literally reprogram your brain to the truth, to the right patterns or towards your dreams by removing all limiting beliefs the world has showered on you.
For that, you need to create an environment for your brain to capture only the right information which can reprogram your brain for massive success over time.
Let’s find out how to build the right environment for success!
Building the Right Environment in the Digital Age
In the digital age, smartphones and social media have moved our society forward but unfortunately, the same things are the most distracting influences in your lives.
In case you check out the statistics of Time Spent on social media per day, people are spending 4+ hours every day and more hours using smartphones.
That means you have an “environment” there in social media & smartphones which feeds your brain with information that can alter your brain based on Neuroplasticity.
Below are list apps which can be used using the concept called Digital Minimalism, instead of removing them from our life, let’s use them effectively in your favour…
1. Digital Minimalism on Smartphone
1.1 Limiting Facebook, Instagram & TikTok
Once you install the Facebook/Instagram/TikTok App on your mobile, what they do is, they try to capture your attention and try to keep you engaged in their platform by sending notifications after notifications.
Because ultimately the more time you spend on their social platforms they will have more opportunity to monetize or make more money.
STEP 1: So uninstall all the social media apps from your smartphone.
For Facebook: m.facebook.com
For Instagram: www.instagram.com
For TikTok: www.tiktok.com
STEP 3: To disable all notifications from the browser itself, go to the Smartphone’s Settings –> Click on Applications –> Find Application Manager –> Open the Browser App –> Un-check “Show Notifications”
1.2 News Apps
News media thrives on human’s primal instinct to find the negative news around us. So that humans can fight it and survive. This survival mechanism was true when humans were not an organized civilization, negative news in that time is like a predator near their shelter. Or a blood-sucking mosquito which can kill them.
So it was extremely important in those times for people to be curious about negative news. If they miss one, they might even be killed.
News media exploits this primal instinct in our subconscious mind.
There are 95% of time happy and joyous things happen around us. But we see Only the remaining 5% of negative things through the News which is not the actual representation of our world.
I have personally not keenly reading the newspaper or watching the news for many years now. Has it made me uninformed? Never, if there is news I need to know, I will know it somehow, whether it’s through family or friends.
The point is to uninstall all News based apps on your smartphone. It’s worth it.
2. Digital Minimalism on Facebook
They say – “Tell me what you read, what you watch, what you listen to & your five closest friends are, I can tell you who you are”
This means, the conversation with your friends and what you read can influence your brain and in turn can influence your identity.
But unfortunately, in today’s Facebook world you are influenced by 1,000s of virtual friends and unnecessary information.
You might have heard about Facebook’s News Feed is similar to the slot machine where you are hooked to keep scrolling down mindlessly, endlessly.
Based on the things you want to achieve in life, it’s important that you choose the right friends and intake the right information.
It’s easier said than done when someone suggests you NOT to use Facebook. The truth is, there are unlimited possibilities when using Facebook in the right way. So “Not using Facebook” is NOT the solution. Rather restrict its bad features.
Though most of us use smartphones to access Facebook. But we all do our work in a Desktop or Laptop. Eliminating Facebook Newsfeed from your work computer can be a great productivity move.
You can completely remove Newsfeed from your work device using Chrome plug-in named “News Feed Eradicator”.
Follow this link: https://manychat.com/l6/iamjerinjacob to get installed in your web browser.
2.2 Minimize Bad Social Influence
Based on what you want to achieve in life, in Facebook, make sure you are connecting to only those people who can support you to achieve your dreams, in terms of mentoring, inspiration or pure support.
Since the above plug-in – “News Feed Eradicator” won’t work on mobile, you may still get influenced by negative vibes from certain people while using Facebook via its mobile website m.facebook.com
You can “Unfriend” them, but “unfriending” your virtual friends from Facebook makes them feel offended. So what is the right way to go about to minimize the bad social influence of Facebook’s Newsfeed when you use it from your mobile…
Facebook gives an option to “unfollow” the people in your friend list which means those you “unfollow” won’t show up in your newsfeed.
STEP 1: What you can do is unfollow everyone
STEP 2: Then follow the right mentors and people who can support your dreams.
3. Digital Minimalism on WhatsApp
3.1 Join the Right Communities
The biggest flaw of the WhatsApp app is anyone with your number can add you to any group they want. Recently they have updated with an invitation option.
But most people choose to stay in the groups they were added or join the group they were invited, just because of FMO (Fear of Missing Out) and not to offend the person who added or invited you to the group.
These groups train your brain addicted to distraction.
So what you need to do, decide to quit all the WhatsApp groups which won’t directly or indirectly support you to achieve them.
How to do it? Politely put a final post in each group, that “I cannot be active in the group right now. I will connect you all back soon when I feel I’m ready for the purpose group” then leave the group without further ado.
4. Digital Minimalism on Email
4.1 Unsubscribe Emails
As we discussed earlier, we decided to follow only the mentors or people who can support our dreams. But some people what they do is, they are in constant search for new mentors and experts and keep subscribing to every newsletter available in the industry.
That means, they will get tens and hundreds of emails every day. Which make them read none.
So what you need to do is. Unsubscribe everyone and focus on one or two mentors.
To unsubscribe from 100s email subscriptions is a herculean task. That’s when technology comes in handy.
Visit: Unroll.me this will help you to unsubscribe and keep the right ones in a matter of a couple of clicks.
5. Digital Minimalism on YouTube
5.1 Don’t Fall into the Recommendation Pit
When you open a video on YouTube, you might have noticed a “Recommendation” section. You might have been thinking, this section is helpful to learn more about the topic which you are currently watching. But studies suggest that these recommendations are not giving “better content” than you are watching, rather, it keeps degrading the quality based on each recommendation.
For example, if you search for “How to Succeed in Business” then over many recommended videos after another. After watching 10s or 100s recommendations from there, you might even start seeing “How this Person Named Mr X Killed Himself after a Business Failure”. That’s how its algorithm works.
So unlike Facebook, we don’t need to uninstall YouTube, rather we need to simply remove “the recommendations” so that you can watch what you are looking for and learn from it then move on to your work.
Follow this link: https://manychat.com/l6/iamjerinjacob for the Chrome Plugin to remove recommendations from your YouTube while using from your work PC or Laptop.
5.2 No Bell Buttons
Just like you have chosen to follow the right people on Facebook. You can choose to only subscribe to the YouTube channels which can help you achieve your dreams.
But never press the “Bell Button” because it will show you notifications whenever they – the subscribed channels – upload a video. Which is again a distraction.
So make sure, regardless of which YouTube channel it is, never press the “Bell Button”.
And most importantly “Unsubscribe” every other YouTube channels which won’t serve your north star or the purpose in life.
Let’s practice digital minimalism. Feed the right stuff in your brain by creating an environment consciously to focus, to be productive, which in turn will help you achieve your dreams. Keep up your fight to be focused when the whole world tries to distract you, that’s how you become a productivity master.
Build Environment. Produce Results. Repeat.
Now that you have got a basic understanding of how to be a Digital Minimalist, I have created a downloadable Digital-Minimalist’s Productivity Checklist to keep you on-track of your journey towards your biggest goals in life.
Click here and download it, if it’s still available.
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