A Big Announcement + Our Personal Notes on Digital Minimalism (Cal Newport)

As a follow-up to Part 1 and Part 2 on Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, Melissa and Em discuss their personal takeaways from the book, and talk though a few of Em’s questions about the right “rules” to put in place for her own 30-day Digital Declutter. Plus, stay tuned for a big announcement at the end of the episode!

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Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.

Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a project, or a leisurely walk or run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don't feel overwhelmed by it. They don't experience "fear of missing out" because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.

Bestselling author Cal Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world.

Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don't go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.

Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.


Show notes

To read the full show notes and takeaways from Digital Minimalism, see the show notes on Part 1 and Part 2

In this episode, we also mention

  • Freedom — an app and website blocker

  • StayFocusd — a Chrome add-on to limit the amount of time spent on certain sites

Considering a 30-day Digital Declutter?

  • Listen to Part 1 for how to define the rules of your digital decluttering

  • Listen to Part 2 for more about the replacement activities of a Digital Declutter and the practices of a Digital Minimalist

  • If you want to embark on a less intense Digital Declutter, get in touch with Em’s coach, Stacy Kim of Life Junctions. She created a worksheet designed to help her family and clients identify how they want to spend more time on certain “high quality leisure” activities by spending less time on certain digital activities. To receive the More & Less Worksheet, sign up for Stacy’s newsletter and note the Book Smart Podcast and worksheet in the “How did you hear about LJ/Stacy” section.

Our book club gathering

Share your takeaways

If you’ve read this book, we’d love to hear about it! Let us know how learning your love language has changed your relationship or if you had any aha moments by emailing us at hello@booksmartpodcast.com. You can also leave us a voicemail at 929-515-BOOK (2665).


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