I've been absent from your inbox these last few weeks. For good reason: I've been doing a digital declutter.
Wh-a-a-a-t? I hear you say.
Well, we live in an attention economy:
YouTube / Facebook / LinkedIn / newsletters (ahem) / TikTok / Twitter churns out endless interesting / cute / inspiring / thoughtful / shareable photos / articles / tweets / videos / gifs / books / episodes / series / interviews...
For me, each piece of content I consumed sparked new ideas I could apply to my life/business/relationships/free time.
My head was exploding. I felt overwhelmed and confused. What was happening to me?
"ENOUGH!" I said as a relevant Tweet popped into my feed 🙄
It was Josh Duffney who'd just returned from a digital declutter.
(Down the rabbit hole I went 🤯)
Josh Duffney @joshduffneyHow 30 days without technology revealed a version of myself I love 🧵👇 https://t.co/szY7N8AfUk
Here's how you do it: You go through your life and list out all the optional technology i.e. ones that you could disconnect from for 30 days and not die. Then create an agreement with yourself and stick to it. Or if you're me, use website and app blocker technology (like freedom.to) to help you.
On day 1, I was armed with my digital declutter toolkit:
Notepad and pencil in my pocket for noting down ideas
A phone with no optional apps, just the essentials (maps, weather, calendar).
A list of rules of when and how I can access certain websites.
A website blocker on my laptop to prevent access to distracting websites between 9-12.30pm and 2-5pm every day.
A new journal and a lovely pen.
The first week was fine. I found a lightness to my day and it felt so good to sit with my journal in the evenings and think. But when it got to the weekend, it was another story. I basically went cold turkey on email and found it very difficult. But I did it and the next weekend was easier. I even went for morning walks at the weekend before everyone got up instead of firing up my laptop.
If you're interested to give it a go, check out Josh's article here: The Digital Declutter
My new website
The CV is dead!! Or at least its utility is significantly reduced in the age of the internet. Recruiters turn to Google before hiring someone new. So why leave your Google search results up to chance? Own your search results! I created my personal website in a few hours at the weekend using freely available tools.
I have a personal website for my career and a blog for my podcast/content business. A personal website gives people a place to go to find out more about you. So why hasn't everyone got one? Well, the biggest barrier I've found is committing the time and effort. I've been helping one client do this for a few weeks now. If you want me to teach you and hold you accountable in 2021, let me know by replying to this newsletter.
I wrote a mini-essay to help early- to mid- career job seekers
I write this article to help job seekers get to grips with the wonderful world of networking. It's also the first piece of writing on my personal website. 'Networking' is a term that I don't really like because it suggests using people to advance in your career. But it’s basically about seeking human connection while learning from people.
I love speaking to people who share something in common professionally, so please drop me a line, I'd love to talk to you. Every 5pm weekday for me is set aside for serendipitous conversations.
Adventure has long been a theme throughout my life. So when adventurer-turned-family man Al Humphreys popped into my feed with his podcast Living Adventurously, I was hooked. I went on my first micro-adventure a few weeks ago, slept in a field with nothing but a sleeping bag and a waterproof liner. It was exhilarating being so close to nature. First I was hit first by strong winds, then the rain started and finally I was treated to an incredible display of stars. I had the biggest grin on my face walking back into the city in the morning. Nuttiest thing I've done in a while.
Sleep outdoors. Don’t use a tent. Pack light. Plan simple. Seek wildness. Challenge yourself.
Micro-adventure FAQs by Alistair Humphreys
Guest Tweet of the Week
(Thanks Neela Saldhana for this great find!)
Lean startup vs. human centered design
I read this interesting piece about a social entrepreneur's journey. The insight for me was the comparison between the lean startup methodology and human centered design. Lean startup is really about product focused innovation, where you put a MVP in their hands and see how they behave. Human centered design on the other hand is more about service design. Both are trying to improve the likelihood of successfully building something that people will use. But service design might come before product design.
I Raised £550k for my Startup! by Phil Hewinson
As always I love hearing from you. Please let me know any thoughts or ideas you had when reading this newsletter, or just ping me and we'll have a conversation.
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Have a wonderful December holiday and I'll see you in 2021.