What can we do for people who stare at their phones with vacant looks for hours each day?
Probably, not much…
But, we can do something for ourselves to prevent us from sliding in that direction.
Cal Newport, a graduate of MIT and a computer science professor at Georgetown University, has written another excellent book.
His, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, is an excellent discussion of the challenges we face in our noisy, distracting world.
The first part of the book begins with our challenge… devices and software are designed to be addictive. Newport then outlines a philosophy of Digital Minimalism as the best approach. We should only use what is helpful to us in our situation, not everything that may offer some help somewhere. The final section of the first part, he outlines how to do a “digital declutter.”
The second part discusses the life we should want. He begins with the benefits of solitude with an excellent summary of the books about this important subject and its place in the history of those who have achieved greatness. He then outlines what decluttered leisure would look like. Finally he gives examples of those who have practiced the principles he wants in himself and others.
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World is an earlier book where Newport shows how deep focused work changes lives and solves problems. I learned a lot from from this book as well. I discussed it in a blog post, What is the Internet doing to my brain and what can I do about it?
In an earlier book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, Newport explores how to find and succeed in finding work that will give you fulfillment.
Newport has emerged as a thought leader in the world of productivity and clarity in our digital, busy culture. I strongly recommend this book.