Three Months

Well, I am coming up on the three-month mark of my decluttering / simplifying and the one-month mark on my full-on digital detox. Figured this would be a good time to catch you up on how things have been going on all fronts.

Decluttering

Declutter - Desk

The decluttering is still going fine - most things have been holding steady since the big clean-out of crap. No new clothes, shoes or books have made their way back into the house - and actually, a few strays have been booted. 

I did tackle a new area this week though - my home office. In my office I had an oversized desk with a cabinet on one side and three drawers on the other. It was a large oak desk with a warm leather computer chair, inviting me to sit there all day and stare at the screen while clutter stacked up on top and in its storage spaces.

These spaces were chock-full of crap - pens, coins, boxes, unfiled papers, film negatives, cords, chargers and so on. I actually can't believe the amount of crap that accumulated in those drawers and cabinets, but it is so easy to forget about what's in there when it's hidden from plain view.

When I couldn't open a drawer last week, I knew I needed to tackle this next.

So, I replaced the large desk and chair with the pictured simple desk and stool above - a work in progress so ignore the powerstrip. No drawers, and only a couple exposed shelves (which hold my fountain pens and ink bottles now). I went with a smaller footprint so there's no desire to clutter it up again - nor any room.

I also chose a wooden stool over my comfy leather chair.  Why you may ask? To discourage me from sitting there all day, thus, reducing screen-time. It's comfortable enough to get a few things done on the computer, but in no way encourages long-term use. This helps with my detoxing as well. Speaking of which...

Detoxing

I just hit the one month mark yesterday on the phone/digital detox and it's still going fairly strong, with some caveats.  I continue to unplug each weekday around 5pm until the next morning and 100% offline on weekends. That whole nomophobia thing is past me now and it's just a fact of life that I am disconnecting so much from the net. I am completely at ease that I am not missing a thing out there.

The Phones

The Light Phone

My main phone continues to be the Punkt. MP-01 as I've talked about in previous posts - but not my only phone. It's been going well, but there are days where I would rather have a phone with swipe-text to push out my communications faster, especially when someone is waiting for a detailed response on a hot issue. Honestly, I have grabbed my Nexus 6 a few times for work as that's just the right tool for the job (taking quick photos of damaged equipment to send off to a vendor, for example). I think the dumb-phone is good for personal detoxing but not necessarily at my day job; so that's an adjustment I have made.

But even with that, I have been unplugging from the Mp-01 as well on some weekends to use only my Light Phone. That's the little guy pictured here and the size of a credit card and was sent on to me from Cody. This phone can only make and receive calls and has the ability to store 9 phone numbers as speed dials - that's it. I added my wife and kids on the first three and realized there's no one else I talk to on the phone, so I stopped there. One or two nights a week, I forward calls off the Nexus 6 and MP-01 to the Light Phone and slide it into my pocket in case of emergency. It hasn't rung once and I've only placed 2 calls from it. That's waaaay disconnected.

Email / Web / Social Media

Sticking to my guns on this. Email is still checked in small chunks, three times a day and never on weekends. This has really simplified my life more than I can say. It's habit now and people are used to me replying at set times. I also spent some time unsubscribing from just about everything in my work and personal email accounts and have really tamed my zero inbox.

I spend little time on the web these days too. I look things up as my job dictates, but for the mindless clicking and scrolling, that's all but gone. My Twitter use has really dwindled to nothing other than promoting Physical Grain once a week and Instagram has become just a couple mornings a week to hit-n-run an image. The only social tool I have been using is Slack to discuss a podcast I am doing with four friends on film photography. Some days, even that is too much.

Kindle Unlimited

Finally, my reading has really ramped up. I made the switch to using Kindle Unlimited for my books now. I am averaging between 2-3 books a week and it was looking to get expensive. But with Unlimited, I have been able to grab books at will for a fixed cost per month, saving me a ton of money. Also, a nice perk is I don't feel like I am wasting money when a book is sucking and I delete it. It's much easier to realize it's going nowhere, dump it, and pick up something better. I used to suck it up, thinking, I spent x-amount of dollars on this, I better tough it out. I feel I am now able to zero-in on higher quality writing and quickly grab books to skim for reference.

Future

I plan to forge ahead on the same path I have been going.  Less digital. Less crap in the house. More face-to-face time with family. More books. And with the weather warming up and the snow finally melting, there will be a whole new chapter of outdoor adventures coming - totally off the grid.

So, this is about all I have for my three-month check-in. Decluttering and detoxing has been one of the best moves I have made and am really enjoying the ongoing process. The smartphone will make it's way back full-time for work - like I said, it's really a vital part of the job. We'll see the path the dumb-phones take in the coming months. Nights and weekends will continue to be unplugged, but what device I'll be reachable on is up in the air.

Any questions or comments, you know how to reach me.