As I re-read Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport I’m continuing to have those “oh yeah, that’s right!” moments. So many ideas that make a ton of sense in living an intentional life. There is so much digital clutter that can collect in our daily life, this book is focused on how to reduce it… To clean out the digital lint filter so to speak.
What’s also very striking to me is the number of ideas that apply to life outside of our digital selves. The idea of focusing on what is most important and developing relationships IRL (in real life). One of the key points is the power of solitude.
As described in the book solitude is when we are free to think on our own, unencumbered by feedback and input from others. This would mean being alone, enjoying quiet, not reading, not texting, and not even listening to music. Solitude is that time when we have time to think and really let ideas, experiences, and concepts sink in. If we constantly have the faucet of input left wide open our brain doesn’t really have time to process and fully utilize what we’ve taken in.
Today during a breakout session in our Express Leadership Academy online retreat there were a handful of great ideas shared by some great cohorts. My mind was racing as they shared their ideas. When the session wrapped up I made the mistake of checking my email and next thing I knew I was headed in a few other directions. Alarm bells rang in my head and I caught my mistake.
Thinking back to what I learned in the book I tapped out and logged off my computer. I left my phone in my office, set an alarm on my watch, and went outside. I pulled up a chair in the sun, closed my eyes, and thought on the ideas. Talk about a wild experience! Not only did my brain work through many of the ideas and truly process them, but I did it in way less time than I’d expected. Having quiet time to shut everything else in the world out and focus was amazing!
This experience really has my mind thinking tonight. How much more can I accomplish by carving out little chunks of time like this? Definitely an experience that I am grateful for and I’ll remember for quite some time.