Digital Decluttering: A Diary

It took me a year of baby steps, but my phone works for me now.

What I look at in the mornings now instead of my screen

Step 1: Goodbye, games

Step 2: Goodnight, phone

Step 3: Hello, Downtime

What I found is that having to decide whether or not to hit that “ignore limit for fifteen minutes” button is just enough conscious action to override the passive scrolling habit. And that’s the goal, isn’t it: to use devices in an intentional way, not to be used by them.

Step 4: Digital downsizing

Newport’s recommendations aren’t dogmatic or one-size-fits-all. His central message is the importance of intentionality in our use of devices, and of making values-based decisions about online time.

Step 5: Pushing farther

Left: my pared-down home screen, where the essential tools live. Right: apps I use often but not necessarily every day.

Step six: Looking ahead

Author of The Nerviest Girl in the World & other books for kids. Insatiable reader, tidal homeschooler, obsessed stitcher.

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