Here are the top tools and methods to protect your time and “Marie Kondo” your digital browsing experience:
Ads are extremely annoying. Digital ads slow down page load times, clutter articles and other experiences, and drive regrettable purchases. The good news is you don’t have to see them ever again. uBlock Origin is one of the most powerful ad blockers on the market (it even blocks YouTube ads!). An ad-free browsing experience is a true game changer and is the best place to start in your digital minimalism makeover.
If you have a boss or team that likes to email late at night, this tool is essential for work/life balance. Quiet allows Android users (I wish it was on iPhone too) to pause notifications from selected inboxes during certain hours of the day. This brings a quiet respite during evening hours when work can wait until the next day.
These tools from Apple and Google display usage analytics and insights on a dashboard to show how often you are using your devices. They allow you to set reminders when your screen time has gone past your predetermined limits. They also allow you to place restrictions on certain apps and activities.
By turning off your phone for a day, you will be shocked at what you find yourself doing after the fear of reaching for the phone subsides. I went on a cleaning spree, a hike, and cooked a real, respectable meal.
These tools dim your screen and help block harmful blue light. In addition to being easier on your eyes, it reminds you that you are spending a lot of time online and can bring about awareness of device usage.
The most impactful thing I’ve done for my digital minimalism journey, and arguably my mental health overall, was deleting Facebook 5 years ago. If you aren’t ready to make that leap, you still have the power of making social media less addictive. Feed blockers block the endless scroll of feed content that is designed to keep you engaged. Keep your Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feeds blocked, while still remaining connected with friends and colleagues.
The above are my favorite ways of approaching digital minimalism. But people use devices and the internet in many different ways. Here are some other ideas to consider:
-Use grayscale in screen settings.
-Use different devices for work and personal.
-Utilize Airplane Mode or turn off notifications.
-Block certain sites.
-Set limits in Slack for when you can be messaged.
-Place your devices out of reach.
-Delete addictive apps.
-Put your phone on silent mode.
This has been a challenging year and one that has led to an increase in screen time for many. By replacing excessive screen time with routine walks outside, exercise, and reading, you can place limitations on the devices we all rely on for modern day work and life.