I don’t know you, but I can sense the filth coming out of your slate.
Don’t worry, mine used to be the same.
In the past, this is what I did mostly when I surfed online:
More video games
Forums and chat rooms
Other stuff I don’t even remember
If we combine all the above things what do you get?
A large pile of nothing useful.
Of usefulness. Of garbage.
Nowadays, I hardly open social media and I rarely play video games on my laptop and phone.
Thanks to this tiny change in my internet consumption I was able to read 40 books last year and publish more than 100 articles on my website – for 2019 alone.
So, your first step towards becoming a rational internet consumer is to put yourself on a diet – an internet diet. To clean your slate and to start fresh.
In the book Digital Minimalism, the author, Cal Newport, calls this digital decluttering. In short, this means to stop every activity you do online for 30 days in order to figure out what’s most important to you. Kind of fasting, but online.
Fortunately, we already know what we want to do. Remember? You wrote it above – at the end of Module 02.
It’s [insert what you want to become here]. Now, we simply need to clean our slate and prepare it for what comes next. To make room for the activities that will help us become the person we want to become.
To achieve this, do the following things:
Unsubscribe from all the crappy newsletters that are only asking for your credit card.
Unsubscribe from all the YouTube channels that are wasting your time.
Unfollow everyone on social media.
Delete all the apps that are not contributing to your desired future state (i.e. games, news).
Delete the social media apps from your phone.
The last one really hurts. I know. But it’s the most important step.
The idea of this whole exercise is to create free time for your goal. To stop depending on your will power to focus on the important tasks. After all, if your phone is constantly buzzing and inviting you to check things you’ll never accomplish anything.
We want to move from this:
Some people are able to focus and to finish projects without taking such drastic measures but that’s hardly the case for most people.
As noted previously, technology is designed to be compulsive and hook into the reward centers of our brain. Therefore, it’s getting harder and harder to rely on your goodwill and ambitions intentions, like “I don’t have to quit social media. I can just use it less.” No, you need to add some friction between the time-wasting apps and make it harder for them to access your life.
The grand idea is to move from this type of usage (mostly fun) when you’re using your phone:
To this type of usage (mostly productive):
Once you’ve unsubscribed from most of the emails you receive, and there are no longer notifications popping every 10 seconds, we’re going to introduce only things that can help you become what you want.
Now, go ahead and make space in your life.
✍️ Action Section:
To make room in your life for the activities that are going to help you become what you described in the previous Module, put yourself on an internet diet.