04 Aug 2020
My daughter imposed a digital detox yesterday the past Sunday. It was liberating at first, and then the withdrawal symptoms kicked in. But, the first half of the day was like:
Knowing that you can use the phone only for a little while in the morning got me to an extreme planning mode. It was classic Parkinson's law - work expands to fill the time available for its completion. I spent the first 15-20 mins going through all tasks in July and looking ahead in August in my Bullet Journal.
Next, I replied to a few emails and cleared my inbox and messages.
At this stage, my mind was clear, and I shut my computer for good for the day and tucked my phone into my drawer. Out of sight is out of mind.
With my journal in hand, I started doing a bit of offline planning for the next issue of Tech Friend. I had uninterrupted forced thinking. I even wrote my feelings about what I was feeling during the digital detox, which came to be this post. There was no phone to escape to. Just me, my thoughts and my pen. Ironically, the idea that flowed on pen and paper were of quality - the friction we create by writing (as opposed to the easiness of typing) makes one think about what you are writing down.
I felt I was in extreme flow state. Producing ideas felt great instead of consuming information on various devices.
Later, I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon reading and clearing out a few drawers and organizing things. It felt liberating.
Did I feel the urge to check my phone? Of course, I did. We are creatures of habit. I was fine the first half of the day, but then the willpower wore off, and I wanted to reach to check my mail, WhatsApp and Instagram. What is the world talking about, and could I have missed out on something important?
Although, it is not half bad an idea to do this once a week - disconnect from the world, give two hoots about what is happening elsewhere and connect with yourself and the people around you.
“Less mental clutter means more mental resources available for deep thinking.” ― Cal Newport, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World