Simply put, I nerd out over new gadgets, digital tools and shiny pieces of tech news. I’m a designer so I make my living and spend an unnatural amount of time on a computer. I consider my devices extensions of my body and at the helm of these pieces of technology I am annoyingly efficient. I can type 100+ words-per-minute. I’m the type to have the Google results in front of me while everyone is still arguing like cavemen. Here’s the problem with being a hyper-productive digital nerdboy: your life can get cluttered, quickly.
My life doesn’t need clutter. I’m married and I enjoy my wife’s company. I have a two year old, who on top of being a skilled wielder of the iPad, is a shitload of fun to play with. I play hockey at least once a week. I run. I keep in touch with my out-of-town family and friends. I’m have a full-time job doing web, video and graphic design and I stay up late creating and building for myself and freelance clients. These are some of things that sum up my non-digital life.
It seems every week something new is released along with the feeling that I must integrate this new tool (assuming it does well what it sets out to do) into my life immediately. The problem is, this cannot be. This must not be, and this is not necessary. What is necessary is the pursuit of balance. I’m not advocating unplugging, as I run at a personal uptime of 99.95%, but I think we could all benefit from looking at our lives with an editorial eye. Addition by subtraction. Spend more quality, focused time in fewer places. I know this is difficult for people of my generation and especially the young ones (who are not reading this blog post), but this is what you must do.
My digital life, defined as things that take up regular and consistent time in my 24-hour days include: reading and writing e-mail, checking Facebook, reading Twitter (time well spent), browsing LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Instagram, Dribbble, Words with Friends, YouTube, Foursquare, Untappd, Skype, Online Banking and Bill Payment, reading through articles in my RSS Feed, writing posts for my blog, reading design and fashion blogs, sports message boards and late-night Rosetta Stone sessions. Exhausting.
Some of these things (many of these things) add little to no value to my life…I simply enjoy them. I think life is definitely about enjoyment so you can’t cut ALL of the amusing time-wasters out. Some of these things are purely required based on my occupation. A few of these things I could say goodbye to without affecting my happiness or productivity. That’s the fat I must trim. In an effort to keep this post semi-digestible I won’t beat my point to death. You have fat to trim in your life as well, and I think analyzing where you spend your time and curating your digital life could benefit you. Good day.