• Mel Leslie

30-Day Digital Declutter: Ground rules and prep


I am such a procedural driven, Type-A person, so before I begin my digital detox, I am establishing some ground rules and mentally preparing. Nothing crazy here, but enough to keep me on the right track.


I will begin by deleting all apps off my phone that are not essential and weed out my email inbox. (Bye, bye Instagram and hello Unsubscribe button!...)


I will avoid social media (with the acceptation of a book tour post I committed to in December.) This one will be the toughie! Like the old saying, "if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?" I'm about to find out "If a bookstagrammer doesn't post on IG about a book she read, did she even read it?"


I will leave my phone at home when I am running errands or out and about. (I know, I know, what if I need directions? Or an online coupon? Or I miss an important phone call or text message? Or, god forbid, I get into an accident?!) Think about this...when you are out and about, how often do you REALLY need your phone? I bet it's less than you think. Leave your phone at home the next time you get groceries or run to Target. I am betting you won't have a situation where you phone is an absolute must and I bet you'll feel more relaxed and present.


I will make time for conversation by calling and/or video chatting with people more often, rather than texting or messaging them. I am such an avid texter, to the point where I cringe when I see my phone ringing and the thought of checking a voicemail makes me want to gag. Who has time for that?! This will be a shift for me, but one I am willing to take on. Just this weekend I did video chats with two of my brothers, rather than texting, and it was so much more fulfilling of a conversation and brought me joy that I wouldn't have gotten with a strung out string of text messages.


I will trade my "low quality leisure" with "high quality leisure" by replacing the time I used to spend on my phone, doing something constructive that brings me joy. Obviously reading is top on this list, but I also love creating things with my hands like knitting, working on house projects, and journaling. As a child, I was constantly creating art projects. I loved to draw and my creativity was endless. As an adult, I can't remember the last time I drew. Time to put an end to that! I am excited for the prospect of connecting with my younger self and getting back into drawing.


When it is all said and done, I will have to figure out how to productively incorporate technology back into my life, but let's tackle one thing at a time. *insert wink emoji ;)*


Shit's about to get real come December 1st. See ya cell phone!


Well....actually, I will see you....but just not as much as before.

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All of the tips I am using to do my digital declutter can be found in the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I finished this book last week and it fired me up to take control of the technology in my life and to put a stop to my cell phone addiction. I highly recommend this book and think everyone should read it. Technology is such a part of life now, more than ever, and the feeling of constantly looking at a screen, being "on call," or responding to someone is mentally and physically draining. Who likes the feeling they get when they pick up their phone and they have multiple missed calls, text messages, and emails spilling out of their inbox? I know I don't. Click the link below to purchase a copy for yourself. This is one of those books where you will want your own copy to mark up and highlight, as well as refer back to throughout the years.


Another book that I read on the subject of reducing phone usage is Hung Up by Haley Evans. Evans likens constant phone notifications to the annoying pecks of a chicken. Text message, peck, Facebook notifications, peck peck, emails, peck peck peck. The pecking can drive you crazy unless you take control of it and tell your phone who is boss. Evans book is a quick and informative read with practical and tangible advice on how to limit your phone usage and help your children develop healthy relationships with cell phones and social media. I love the message Evans is spreading and really enjoyed her anecdotal and witty writing. While nothing was earth shattering new to me, it was a message that bears repeating and one that echoed Digital Minimalism . Thank you to the author for the gifted copy! #partner




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