This is something I strongly believe in and is one of my main business missions. As with many things, there can be too much of a good thing.
What is digital minimalism?
Simply, it’s benefiting from technology without it taking over our lives.
It is why I carry around a planner, notepad, pen and pencil. Yet, make use of the least amount of productivity tools online, but high efficiency.
For example: When you’re new, or still running your blog or business on your own, juggling all the tasks become overwhelming, especially with the amount of online tools out there.
In this case, you want to begin with the least about of tools to start growing. I recommend these free and cheap tools as a solopreneur and blogger:
Start with the Basics
- WordPress.org website – The paid version looks more professional and can be customized later. Add the main information like who you are, who you help, services and how to content you. No need for a fancy site yet. All you need is a domain, and hosting first. WordPress.com is free, but it’s very limited and the website domain can be long. Use what is best for you!
- Paper Planner – To jot down reminders, scheduling and planning your goals.
- Notebook & Pen/pencil – Perfect for brainstorming, blog post outlines, doodle ideas, planning and notes.
- Google Drive – To write and share documents and spreadsheets. Put everything from your notebook to organize and easily find your notes.
- Google Calendar/Calendly – to book calls
- Facebook Live – for videos. You can download these to your computer, then put them on YouTube later.
- Mailerlite – Email marketing and automation that’s easy and free, up to 1k subscribers (as of this post).
Once you have a team, funds, and resources, it’s time to utilize programs that allow you to do the most tasks with even less tools.
- All-in-One Email Marketing/Landing Pages/Membership Site/E-commerce
Why Use Minimal Digital Tools?
If you’re a note-taker like me, it’s so much easier to retain information by writing everything down on paper.
I also use Google calendar for my phone, iPad and computer, but also write in my planner. This way, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always know what’s going on.
It’s amazing how the internet has connected everyone for breaking news, opportunities and networking. It’s important to connect face to face and emotionally too.
Facebook, and other social media, has turned us into Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, only showing our best side or hiding behind the computer to bully others. What type of example are we showing our children because of this?
Before typing a post online, I always hand write an outline with notes first. Yes, it saves me time to just do it all on the computer, but ideas and thoughts are more fluid for me not staring at lines to edit.
With so many businesses being run mainly online, it’s amazing potential for finding new customers. Just remember that an email can wait a couple of hours or your need to put down your phone and rejuvenate.
I understand that the digital world will only get faster so it’s important for children to keep up. But, I don’t think they should be attached to a “smart” phone 24/7. No wonder children are easily bored…
Now, I see people hanging out together, at dinner, usually sitting next to the person they are texting… Seriously? Look at them.
I remember making up games to play and enjoying reading a physical book. Which meant I had to learn to keep myself preoccupied if bored.
It feels like up until our parents, respect was expected and it took patience and setting boundaries to discipline. It seems like an iPad is the easy and lazy way out to handling noise, destruction, or a child that won’t listen.
No, not all parents are like this. It’s what I observe more lately. I’m not saying it’s easy, it clearly isn’t. I am saying, if our parents and everyone before us can discipline, so can we without tech.
Do you remember running around and playing outside?
After school I’d look forward to meeting my friends to climb trees, build forts in the woods, play in the creek or ride our bikes etc. A neighborhood isn’t the same without kids running around, having fun and laughing together. That’s why I was happy to find a house in a neighborhood like this recently.
Now, when stressed or need to get away from everything, I simply go out on my porch or backyard to enjoy the woods or go hiking in the mountains.
We need to be outside. It’s healing and good for our souls.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, The bright lights are tricking our brain into thinking it’s still daylight.
“Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep,” says Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “This study reveals that light-emitting screens are in heavy use within the pivotal hour before sleep. Invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported that they routinely get less sleep than they need.”
When I started putting more time into my business using the nightly spurts of focus before bed, it took over an hour to wind back down before I could fall asleep.
I’ve made sure to limit working at night to journaling in a notebook or limiting myself to reading one chapter of a book. It’s been helping and I’m falling asleep at a decent hours now. Give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Next Step: Share your thoughts about the need to disconnect in the comments below.