How many apps do you have on your phone, laptop or any digital device?

Whether you own these things or not, how many programs or apps do you think you need to use to be efficient?

I often used to think that I could gain more focus from apps and electronics then I could from myself.


Maybe you can and maybe you can’t.

Ask yourself though – how much time do the devices you have access to and use contribute towards your focus and/or detract from it?

In his book ‘Digital Minimalism’ Professor Newport offers some interesting views.

Newport says that the use of electronic devices and anything digital can be distracting because it works on the mechanism of compulsive behaviors.

Two main drivers are at work that can reinforce the compulsive use of devices and electronics including:

1. ‘Intermittent positive reinforcement’ = from time to time we get positively reinforced for randomly tapping or clicking away at a link and a button on a device etc.

2. ‘The drive for social approval’ = ‘checking’ in on the number of likes etc we have to offer a way to be accepted.

Great an all but when these two mechanisms interfere with your ability to focus on what is really important to you….not so great!

Newport offers a take on how to minimize the use of the digital including….

1. ‘The practice of solitude’

2. ‘The Practice of Conversation’

3. ‘The Practice of High-Quality Leisure’

Giving more time to any and all of these three to mitigate the risk of excessive digitial distraction may work for you.

Any possibilities worth exploring?



p.s. whether you own devices or don’t is not the point. ‘Own’ your time with them rather than the other way around. When it comes to your attention (which is precious) – bottom line...‘Own or be Owned’.

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