How Digital Minimalism
Helps Improve Productivity

See also: Minimising Distractions and Time Wasters

According to a 2022 survey by Earthweb, the average person spends 23 hours per week online. All those email responses, time trackers, social media breaks and Google searches add up—and naturally, they take a collective toll on the state of our mental well-being.

Digital minimalism offers us an opportunity to reconsider the amount of time we spend online, and discover how much more productive we can be with reduced screen time.

In a time where so much of our lives are fixated on online activity, digital minimalism is a tool for healthy time management and a better, more sustainable relationship with the devices we know and love.

What Is Digital Minimalism?

Digital minimalism is an approach to digital activity that involves laying down healthier boundaries around the amount of time you spend online. Without proper moderation, too much digital activity can impede productivity, disrupt sleeping patterns, and even trigger dopamine deficiency.

For these reasons, it’s becoming increasingly important for people to take control of their digital habits and start introducing a more responsible approach to online activity. In turn, this creates more time, more focus, and a generally healthier mental state.

So, what does digital minimalism look like?

  • Giving yourself a limited period to access devices – instead allowing yourself to spend as much time as you want online, set a limited time period to access your devices (for example, between 10AM and 5PM, allowing for a screen-free evening).

  • Disable certain notifications – We get notifications for just about everything these days, but are all of them really necessary? Encourage yourself to stay focused by disabling any notifications you know you don’t need throughout the day.

  • Reconsider the apps you use – The apps you use should make your life easier, not slow you down. Taking a hard look at the apps you use can help you to make better decisions about which ones to keep and which ones to kiss goodbye.

  • Unfollow what you don’t need – If you struggle to let go of certain apps, revisit who you follow on them and why. Aim to follow accounts that truly inspire or interest you. The rest is probably a drain on your time and energy.

Digital minimalism is about reducing the time you spend online and on digital devices, not completely removing it from your life. By minimizing your daily digital activity you’ll have more time and energy to focus on other, more important things.

5 Ways Digital Minimalism Improves Productivity

It’s a simple equation: less time online, more time to prioritize what’s important to you. Whether your priorities are work, family, or a new side hustle.

Productivity can be elusive. But once you know what circumstances are needed to make it work, focus and energy come naturally. There are many benefits to decreasing your screen time, such as less anxiety, healthier eyesight, and better sleeping patterns, but the one we’re going to focus on today is productivity.

If you can take control of your digital habits, being productive will become much easier. Here’s how:

1. Saves time

Remember that statistic from earlier? The average person spends 23 hours each week on the internet. Of course, a good portion is probably work-related, but the rest… not so much. By cutting down your recreational scrolling time online, you can free up a good few hours each week for other tasks.

Think: more time to prepare for a presentation. A couple of restorative naps. Running around the block in the evening. Having dinner with your family. The less time you spend online, the more you get to invest in what matters to you the most.

2. Less mental clutter

When you spend a lot of time in the digital realm, your mental state can feel hazy and kaleidoscopic, and not in a fun way.

By curating a more minimalistic digital lifestyle, you give your brain the powerful gift of some much-needed peace and quiet. Mental and literal clutter weighs you down and clouds your thoughts, making it hard to focus on what’s in front of you. But it doesn’t have to be that way—just spend less time online.

3. Allows for better interpersonal relationships

We all need healthy human interaction to remain sane, productive, and content. By choosing to be more selective about which apps you allow into your life and how much time you invest in them, you open up more space for maintaining healthy relationships with the people around you.

That means establishing stronger, more effective relationships with co-workers, team leaders, clients, and, of course, the loved ones within your life.

4. Uses tech more efficiently

Most of us don’t use technology to its full potential, and content consumption addiction is only making things worse. It traps us in a reductive cycle that aims to keep us distracted from real life, draining us of time, energy, and, yes, productivity.

However, when you eliminate unnecessary apps and cancel digital subscriptions adding to your mental clutter, you can start to use technology for the incredible tool that it is. Instead of draining you of energy, technology should help you to streamline your workflow and make you a more effective individual.

As with replacing fast food with whole food in your diet, replacing “junk” apps with essential apps can allow you to unlock a much more efficient way of life.

5. Have more control over your schedule

When you take responsibility for your engagement with the digital world, you are naturally afforded more control over your life. Instead of having your day dictated by energy-sapping apps and doom-scrolling sessions, learn how to say “no!” to mindless digital activity.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, you should control your technology, not the other way around. Digitization has and will continue to be a powerful tool. But just like any powerful tool, restraint and responsibility are needed for it to be wielded in a healthy, sustainable way.

Digital minimalism is a lifestyle that embraces discipline, moderation, and most importantly, self-control. With the direction that technology is heading, we’re all going to need a bit of that.

About the Author

Lina Becker

Lina Becker started her career in education as a remedial teacher. In 2012 she became a freelance editor, working with various media outlets, covering topics ranging from education to productivity.

Lina is fascinated by people using their energy to grow into better versions of themselves and use their untapped potential.