Cal Newport preaches Digital Minimalism

This episode today is magnificent – you’re really going to be stimulated and challenged by it.

Today’s episode is with someone I contacted 2 years ago to discuss his previous book. Cal Newport’s Deep Work was a simple avocation of the process of using uninterrupted concentration to get things done. He’s now back with a new book about taking the same principles beyond work into life. It’s a guide for achieving happiness by being more intentional in how you use technology. Some might call it a manual.

What follows here is a sensational discussion with Cal – Digital Minimalism is out next week. I heard someone say recently that if you hear a new idea and its not shocking, its not really new. On that criteria this is really new. You’re going to find it mind expanding. Maybe you’ll disagree with it but it will leave you thinking for hours afterwards.

Cal believes we should eliminate email. He thinks we should stop being connected to 100s of people on social media. He thinks we should distinguish between social conversation and digital connection. Where we should eliminate all digital interactions.

He’s got a way for you to get there. He speaks of three principles of digital minimalism

  • Clutter is costly
  • Optimisation is important
  • Intentionality is satisfying

Here’s a great article on the book.

His suggestions in the book – that we touch on are that we should abandon weak digital ties with people. If you find yourself merely liking someone’s photographs in the course of your relationship then you should detach yourself from them. I remember when I was on Facebook thinking I was going to cull anyone I wouldn’t go over and greet if I saw in the street and he says something probably a couple of steps further.

Not only is this chat great but he tells me about his next book that sounds incredible. I won’t make a big introduction because I asked Cal to do that himself so here he is.