Are you a digital native like me?
Do you want to improve your online productivity?
I practically live online and for years I spent hours down the rabbit hole of link wandering.
It was time-consuming and pedestrian but also enjoyable and somewhat rewarding in that knowledge was gained, my network expanded and ultimately my social capital grew.
I have better control of my time now and I’m still growing in the journey to balance online productivity with my overall well-being.
That is why I always invite others to join the growing digital community we are building at cmonionline.com so that we can learn and grow together.
In my long years of playing on social media I learnt that just like religion, it isn’t inherently bad or good.
Social media apps do what they are meant for and that is to connect people for engagement.
Again just like religion, it is what you bring to social media that determines its badness or goodness.
“The more you interact with a particular type of content on social media, the more likely it is that the algorithm will show you similar content in your feeds.”
However, one fact we can agree on is that social media is now the biggest time consumer of our time.
You are flooded with a deluge of information in shorts that often lead to distraction.
Consequently, your focus and deep work suffer.
When this happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop the requisite consistency that will bulldoze the obstacles on your path to success.
I have seen users who hitherto dwelt on banter around sociopolitical issues and small talk reinvent themselves into brands that produce valuable content. Some have gone further to build successful businesses that employ people and make good profits.
In all of the cases, I noticed that they took some time off social media to reflect and evaluate before bouncing back with a new strategy.
They replace small talk with valuable content (products/services) that offer solutions.
And that can only mean they focused more on deep work.
In his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport defines deep work as “a state of distraction-free concentration when your brain works at its maximum potential”.
How can we attain this state?
We will experiment by disappearing for 21 days.
So here we go!
- No chit-chat: I would have recommended a complete digital detox but we need to be digitally productive so the best would be to reduce online chit-chat to ZERO! No football, news, politics, etc. These small talks lead to unnecessary arguments that take up 2, 3 and 5 minutes which ultimately add up to hours. Now this is easier said than done because quitting habits especially old ones can be hard. But it can be simplified even if it won’t be easy and one good way is to replace these habits with other activities.
- Deep work: Read, write, create and share more. If you are able to reduce small talk then you should try and focus more on the things that matter, the Most Important Tasks MITs that move you towards your goals. Early mornings work best for this. Read my post on early start here but you can choose any time that works for you.
- Rote activities: The time you save by reducing small talk cumulates into hours that can be utilised for other rote activities. They are necessary to avoid burnout and also to refill our cognitive resources. Nature walks, artist dates and talking to loved ones are great options. Watch those movies you postpone endlessly. I suggest documentaries because they manage to entertain and still inform. But other genres can do this too. Choose what works for you.
- Exercise & nutrition: Your fitness is primarily determined by two things; ingestion and exertion. Simply put, it is directly related to what you put into your body and what you do with your body. So include workouts and healthy feeding into your routine. However, always remember that moderation is key in both cases because we are not training for the Olympics. We just desire to improve our physical and mental well-being.
- Rest: Sleep a little longer than you used to. Plug in those pods, lay back on the sofa and listen to jazz/classical music for 30 minutes. Rest more. Your body deserves a good rest for optimum performance of both the mind and body.
- Routine: If you had no routine before now this is the time to develop one. If you have then that’s great, all that is needed is to adapt the 21 days. You’ll be amazed at the amount of hours available to you and you will be tempted to peep at your social media page. DON’T!!!
Use the extra hours to read, rest, create or exercise. Feedback and engagement will come after this period.
- Journal: Finally, get a notepad/diary, traditional or digital and write down your daily routine/experience. As hard as it may seem, endeavour to write some words each morning. 100, 200 or more words will do as the following 3 weeks may well prove to be a turning point. And what better way to appreciate it than to record it for possible systemisation, productisation and monetisation!
The world will not end in 21 days but you will take a huge leap towards having greater control of your time for improved productivity.
Focus is a superpower and if you can have it for 21 days, you can own it for the rest of your life.
The aim is to disregard what you can’t control (others) and concentrate on what you can change (yourself).
If you are up for this challenge, please send an email to email@example.com for further details and prices to be won.
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If you wish to emigrate or collaborate, send an email let’s work together.