I recently read DIGITAL MINIMALISM by Cal Newport. It’s a great book that covers everything from why we’re addicted to social media (it’s rigged to be addictive), how we’re depriving our brains of the opportunity to think our own thoughts (because when faced with a moment of silence, we pick up our phones), and includes actual strategies you can use to cut back or cut out your social media habits.
You probably haven’t noticed, but I’ve posted on my social media accounts only 2x since the end of June. Once to tell people about my free course and once to tell them about my sale. That’s it.
I realized earlier in the year I was pouring a ton of time and energy into my posts (they were long and heartfelt and meant to help people just like my emails), but they weren’t getting a lot of traction. I was also getting more and more stressed that I wasn’t doing social media “right.” So I stepped back and said…
Instead, I produced 2 more mini courses, taught some free classes, and have been working on a few other side projects. I’ve seen my productivity improve and my anxiety and stress decrease! #winning
In my latest free class about goals, I shared the story of how one of my coaching clients only changed one thing in her schedule and doubled her writing output. She went from writing one chapter a day to writing two and all that changed was…
No checking the news or email or social media until she met her word count goal. And then she started exceeding her word count goal.
When we check things first thing in the morning, we deprive our brains of the chance to think our own thoughts… to have creative ideas… to get excited about the day ahead… to notice the world around us.
I love you, but if you have news and email and text and social media notifications popping up on your phone and you’re waking up and clearing them first thing in the morning (or possibly if you wake up in the middle of the night), I'm talking to you. The best thing you can do is to give your brain some time to wake up without input.
Yes, it will be uncomfortable at first. But, I promise if you give your brain some space, you’ll start seeing some positive benefits like new creative ideas.
Whenever it is you normally first check things, push it an hour later. What will you do with that hour? Do something that matters to you… brush your teeth, exercise, meditate, start writing, clean your house, pray, journal… the possibilities are endless! If you’re a writer or artist, remember the old rule to create before you consume.
In his book ATOMIC HABITS, James Clear says the secret to breaking a bad habit is to make it inconvenient. So this means if your phone is plugged in by your bedside, put it somewhere out of reach. If your computer home page is a news source, change it.
You’ve got this!