I just finished reading Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport’s manifesto on reclaiming our attention. It’s a fast and easy read, and I found his thoughts on solitude and leisure echoed mine from the last few months.
Between travel and professional commitments, I’ve been struggling recently to find the time my introverted brain requires to recharge. I can see the toll this is taking both on me and my family, as my ability to be present with them has been gradually degrading. Newport defines the condition of “Solitude Deprivation” as:
A state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.”
He builds a strong case for a link between solitude deprivation and anxiety-related disorders, and makes the claim that humans require solitude in order to survive. I’ve long known that this is true for me, and I know that I need to change my behavior and habits in order to carve out more time for myself. In particular, I need to plan and defend my time with a priority on solitude and meaningful leisure pursuits.
It’s unlikely that I’ll put myself through the intensive “digital declutter” he advocates, but I intend to evaluate the sources of distraction in my life through the lens of Digital Minimalism.