Digital Minimalism | 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Productivity & Creativity

If you’re anything like me, you probably
have countless ideas and goals and aspirations that you just can’t ever
really find the time for. There’s so many different things I want to create, but
there’s this massive invisible force that is always trying to squash those
aspirations. Without even trying, we have the
potential to be endlessly entertained for every second of every day. I don’t
know how it could be possible for anyone with a smartphone and an internet
connection to ever be bored. If you look at just YouTube specifically,
there’s 300 hours worth of videos being uploaded to YouTube every minute.
That’s 432,000 hours of videos every day! So you can literally decide
you’re only gonna watch the videos posted today on YouTube, and it would
take you the next 49 years to finish them all. Actually, a lot of those
probably really suck I’m guessing not all those are entertaining. Doesn’t matter,
you get the point. There’s a lot of stuff to entertain you. So this is where my
first mantra for success comes in: Consume less. Create more. So, for me, this absolutely has meaning in reducing my physical consumption. I care a lot
about reducing needless physical consumption like plastic bags, to-go
cups, and plastic silverware, but for this video I’m pretty specifically focusing
on digital consumption. Since we have this ability for endless entertainment,
I’m a believer that you literally have to create sanctuaries to protect
yourself from this endless stream of content. Sometimes you’re not gonna have the mental energy to just resist scrolling Instagram or watching Netflix
or YouTube, so you have to create rules for yourself ahead of time so that when
you don’t have a lot of mental energy you’re still able to keep up with your
goals. So I’ve got five quick things that I’ve implemented into my life that I’ve
seen massive benefit from already. The first one is disabling autoplay. This
is something I’m weirdly passionate about because that feature drives me
nutsm where you’ll finish an episode on Netflix and of course it’s Netflix so
it’s a cliffhanger of an ending and it automatically starts playing the next
episode and next thing you know you’ve binge-watched every single episode of the
entire series. Now, if you want to binge watch every single episode of Stranger
Things in one sitting, go for it! You should do that, but I just
think I want to be the one that’s choosing the next episode every time and
saying “yes, I want to watch another episode”
I don’t want Netflix just showing it to me and sucking me in to watch another
one. The second tip is “downtime hours.” I don’t really know, I’m sure Android has
something equivalent or at least an app or something I just am only familiar
with the iOS feature, but the idea is for me I use “down time” so that an hour before I
go to bed and two hours after I wake up my phone isn’t able to get any
notifications, I’m not able to open any apps nothing. So essentially my phone is
useless in those hours. That’s really important to me because I don’t want to
be waking up to notifications and having my phone dictate the first thing I think
about in the morning. I want my imagination to be able to just go wild
in the morning. I want to be able to just think clearly, have creative thoughts, and
get the day started without all of the distractions and the noise. And then same thing for that hour before I go to bed, I usually just kind of write down some
thoughts or read a book, I don’t want to be scrolling social media or
watching a TV show as I’m falling asleep. Third is the “screen time” feature. again
another iOS feature but I’m sure there’s equivalents. This is similar to the last
one but you set up time limits for each of your apps so you can decide, I only
want to spend a half an hour a day on Instagram, you set that up so that your
phone detects once you’ve used 30 minutes of Instagram it shuts it down
and you’re not allowed to open it anymore.
This is a sweet feature because it’s like you realize that you’re
literally spending time on these apps. You only have an allocated amount of
time, say 30 minutes for Instagram, that you’re able to spend. So when you open
Instagram you’re thinking “do I actually want to be spending my 30 minutes on
this right now?” So it forces you to just be more intentional about how and when
you’re using those apps. The next tip you’ve probably heard before, maybe
you’ve already done it, but it’s just disabling all notifications. Every time
you get a new app, it’s gonna default to giving you all these pointless
notifications that you don’t need, and for me personally, I don’t want any
notifications on my phone for anything other than people calling me, texting me,
and calendar notifications. So that’s all I have set up on my phone.
Other than that I don’t want my phone disturbing me if I have a like or
comment on Instagram or a YouTube comment, nothing like that. And so then
again, you’re choosing the window that you want to spend time on Instagram
instead of your phone notifying you and sucking you into the app. And then the
last one is just choose one day a week that’s completely free of social media.
It’s crazy how much lighter you feel and more creative you feel doing this, and
depending how addicted you are to some of these apps, it feels a little weird at
first. But it’s been so good for me to implement that one day a week, and you
just kind of feel lighter and freer and you’re not as influenced by all of these
things you’re seeing and you kind of just have more natural creative thoughts
when you do that. So I know I’m focusing a lot on the “consume less” part of this
mantra, but that’s because that’s the hard part! I think that we’re all naturally
creative and we’re driven by wanting to make things and build things and be
productive. I think that’s our natural state, but we have to give our brain the
space to be creative and to be productive. If we’re always filling it
with digital content, it’s not gonna have the time or the capacity to just wander
and come up with creative thoughts and new ideas and motivation. When I
implement all of these tips in my life and I’m giving my my mind that time to
think in the morning and the evening, I literally can’t help but come up with
ideas. I get so many ideas of things I want to make and it gives me the time
to actually start making those things. In the end, consumption gets in the way of creativity. Consumption is literally the opposite of creation! So for me, I care
about creating things, I care about making things, so I have to consume less
to do that. So those are just some ideas and some things that I’ve implemented
into my life to consume less digital content and to free up room in my brain
for creativity and productivity. So let me know if you have any other ideas of
ways that you’ve found to reduce your digital consumption and to free up room
for creativity, I’d love to hear your thoughts as always! Maybe just turn off
autoplay right now so that another video doesn’t play after this automatically
and you can decide if you want to play another video or not. But that’s all I’ve
got thanks for watching, I really
appreciate it, and I’ll see you next time


36 thoughts on “Digital Minimalism | 5 Ways to Reclaim Your Productivity & Creativity”

  • Felicia Fullwood says:

    Jake… wow! This was seriously incredible. Everything about it! The filmmaking, story, your points, editing, all of it was so on point! Literally found myself relating to SO much in this one and some advice I seriously need to take for myself. It's sooo hard to find mental clarity for me with all the noise. So glad to see your walking well without crutches!

  • Insane video man!!! I am always SOO impressed by your editing, filming, and all of your content. These points were right on 😀 Keep on creating!!!

  • Sebastien R. Teller says:

    Was wondering where you had been for the last little while, but I sure am glad to see a new video from you. In some weird way you and I are doing the same thing at the same time. I deleted all social media apps but Instagram from my phone a week ago and I've been minimizing my Instagram consumption as well to make way for productivity and creativity. Keep up the awesome work! I look forward to the next video!

  • oh shit i didnt think the video was going up today haha! Glad I was able to get that thumbnail to you then! Really great video my dude!

  • ah good stuff dude! So many great points and things to consider for this. Turning off notifications on apps was HUGE for me, although I do still tend to miss messages and what not LOL, but it really is a freeing feeling. I feel like my brain took a deep sigh of relief when I stopped hearing notifications. Great vid!

  • Mike VanDuzee says:

    Jake, I love you man, cut down on your digital and create more but….don't tell everyone else to do it. Someone gotta watch our stuff, lol.?

  • Gotta say I get excited every time I notice there's a new video on your channel.
    It's not just how amazing your filming and editing is, but also because I appreciate what you share and the way I feel motivated with it.
    I'll give those tips a try, that's for sure. Thanks again!

  • What an awesome video man ?? and your music choice is so damn great.
    100% agree with you and will start implementing all the changes.

  • Again, great camerawork, great core message. Looking back at vlog episode 0 and this you see a huge growth dude! And its only going to grow bigger ✌?

  • garth williams says:

    Love it Jake!! Your quality of content is sooooo gooood! My girlfriend and I recently build a bed in our Honda Element and took three weeks traveling through the sw states…ie Disconnecting/adventuring… After three weeks in the Element I know want a van lol 🙂 Cheers man!

  • Pascal Brändle says:

    Ooooh that‘s why you aren‘t answering during those hours ??
    I seriously thought you‘re going to fall down at 6:22 min

    You did an amazing job on this one bro, I see how you progress in filmmaking! It‘s nuts!
    This video was an example of what you can do if you‘re intentional about using your phone. Excellent job Jake!

  • xAceOfSpaidsx says:

    Dude, on top of the tips and the idea of this video, which were great, I wanted to comment how good this video felt and looked quality wise. The music fit perfect and the cinematic parts were just smooth and clean. Great work… now to go implement some of these things!

  • Matt LeGrand says:

    I didn’t have time to create today, but I loved watching this video and auto played through all of your channel’s playlists. Maybe I’ll make something tomorrow. Well, unless you post something else for me to consume. ? Great video ?

  • Hey dude, I have only today found this channel and have to say it has come at a perfect time! I sat watching this video and set up/ implemented all of the features on my iPhone (most of which I had never known about prior). I am excited to reclaim hours that I know I have lost to social media and looking forward to following the videos and the documentary coming later in the year! Nice work man!

  • Dude, you are so underrated!! Keep working, I'm so sure you'll gonna blow up soon.. just keep that quality on ?

  • Love this content. Gave up all of my social media accounts as well as cable tv 2 years ago. It changed my life tremendously. I have been able to see and do so much more in life.

  • Great vid! Well executed. I'm guilty of too much consumption and this has certainly triggered me to consider how much more I could create and achieve in life if only I set myself some social media boundaries!

  • Love this video man! I also really like Bedford falls and got super excited when I heard that you used it in your video!!! Gonna use these tips to finish up my last year of my civil engineering degree this year!

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