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A principal of minimalism that is key to disconnecting digitally

This morning I woke and didn’t even glance a thought towards picking up my phone.

And even though I had to take it to the store to scan the tracing registration stuff and then took it out again to take pictures of my delicious breakfast, I still didn’t have a trace of an urge to churn open the internet or even check messages.

Right no as I sit down to write, it is noon and everything is still in silent undisturbed mode.

It feels good.

I should mention here, especially as yesterday I was writing about new year resolutions, that my journey into minimalism and digital detachment didn’t start just yesterday. You will, most definitely be invited in on those stories, but for the current record, disconnecting from my phone started this summer and dabbling in minimalism started about six weeks ago.

This being said, I did make a small but significant change two days ago which I am certain has been impacting these recent behavioural changes.

And this is where the minimalism comes in.

As I said I am only part way into minimalism. Which was ‘sparked’ – pun intended – by Marie Kondo, a beautiful ray of sunshine in this world of clutter and chaos.

A couple months ago I dutifully held and serenaded each and every item I owned and gently sent more than half of them towards a more useful life. For about eighty percent of what I kept, I gave each their own even if somewhat makeshift space. I am still learning this game but am enjoying the process immensely.

The other twenty percent is still floating, looking somewhat lost and vagabond-like lol, but I am not too worried as most of these are books which as soon as I finish reading I will be sending them on their way.

There is, however, one specific item that was particularly errant: my laptop.

I assumed that as I am using it pretty much all day anyway, it didn’t need to live anywhere, as always it would be on my desk, on my lap, in my bag…

But that is exactly where the problem lies.

Because it was always next to me, I was always on it. And the facility to check messages, emails, and float over to watch a couple and then more than a couple YoutTube videos was becoming an endless circle.

The ability to sit and write, or work, or do anything intelligent or productive was constantly interrupted by distraction. Like, as I said the other day, trying to work with a toddler sitting right next to you.

And so while it wasn’t specifically a new year resolution, the time of year being what it was, I was thinking about how I could in fact break that iron-clad circle of distraction.

Which is when I came back to the original concept of Marie Kondo: each item needs its own home, its own individual space.

Trouble is, when you are living in a place the size of a postage stamp – yes dear readers, some of you would be pretty shocked at how small a place a small place can be – finding space for a laptop which will probably only be occupying that space for twenty percent of the time, the whole thing can seem somewhat challenging and a waste of time.

But I decided to do it anyway.

I had to make three piles of books homeless in the process, but quite literally, as soon as I had given my laptop its own home, and carefully placed it in its space, all urge to constantly open it to check messages or watch videos entirely evaporated.

In fact when I do take it out to post, for example, these daily reflections, I am almost eager, even excited to close it and put it back into its space.

I have yet to reflect on the full psychology behind this, but when I do I will share them.

For now my observation and experience is telling me, individual space for individual items is important.

So try this: go give your laptop a specific home, a space of its own. And while at it your phone too. Not a box with a timer that is locked beyond your control – that’s what we call a prison and our items will hate us for it – but an individual space where they are free to come and go, a space where it is also their quiet space their quiet time.

Go try it and then let me know any changes you observe.

That’s all for today my friends.

Have a beautiful day!

RZ 2022 01 02

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