Our productivity depends on ourselves.
Sometimes our computers can easily become a source of distraction. Truth is that computers are not essential to our life, as they are “tools” just like every other tool out there. The way this tool will be helpful to your productivity is only based on the way you use it, and how you can make it work for your existence. I’m just talking from an objective viewpoint, considering the existence of computers and their function. I’m not a programmer, I’m not a geeky user. I’m just being (objectively) real.
When we become conscious about the role that computers have in our life, we can start experimenting and establishing a contact with them, a bond that will be beneficial to our digital productivity.
Our digital productivity is a result of
Time management skills
Decisions making skills
Now, how can we become conscious of the role computers have in our life?
Tracking the time you spend on the net
Mind the time is an amazing plugin you can use in your web browser to track your net usage
Analysing the way you use your PC
What kind of user are you? These are just examples, of course.
Identifying yourself in a “category” of users, you will be able to identify areas of your PC in which you can free up precious space, by deleting files and programs you don’t need.
Becoming aware of how you use space and filing system
How do you manage your files? If you want to create a custom-filing-system here is a step by step guide. Consider deleting duplicates or unneeded files from your PC, by using Ccleaner (Microsoft Windows) or fdupes (Ubuntu Linux)
Is your computer important in your life?
these questions would seem tricky, but they’re crucial to show you the real “connection” you have with your digital stuff.
Your aim should be to simplify every single portion of your digital and real life, so to conquer freedom through the carefree attitude that is the result of a decluttered and simple life. Again, less is more.
Leo Babauta’s Interview @ Ubuntulook : a simple and minimalist approach to computing
This is a wonderful week for Ubuntulook (and for me!), which is hosting an exclusive interview with the famous writer and blogger Leo Babauta.
For those who don’t know him, Leo writes the top-100 blog Zen Habits and has another smaller blog called Mnmlist. He’s the author of a slew of books on living a simple minimalist existence, including his ebook “A Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life”, and his famous “The Power of Less”. You can also download for free “Focus”, his new ebook, by visiting this page or by clicking HERE
Here at Ubuntulook, I am pleased to announce such a good news, since Leo will tell us about his own point of view about simplicity related to personal excellence and computing, exclusively for Ubuntulook.blogspot.com!
David: Leo, when you heard for the first time in your life the word “minimalism” what has been your thought about that?
Leo: I’ve always hear the term “minimalism” as it applies to art and architecture, and it’s always appealed to me. But the term “minimal” has always appealed to me as I’ve read about and tried to apply the principles of simplicity to my life, as it implies you have nothing but the essentials. I might have seen “minimalism” applied in this way somewhere else, but I can’t remember it.
David: The vast majority of users looks at “minimalism” as a look-related topic. What’s the meaning of “minimalism in computing” for you? Does it have a functional value for you?Leo: Minimalism in my mind means paring things down to the essentials. So in computing, that means not having a lot of bloated programs, and utilities you never use, and menu bar items that clutter things up. But it also means minimalist programs that don’t go for looks, but just get the job done with a minimum of fuss and without unnecessary complexity. I also prefer text to word processors, tiny programs to bloat, and single-function programs to apps that try to do everything.
David: What is the role of computers in your life? Could you imagine a life with no digital devices at all?
Leo: Computers enable me to spread my work to a large audience, so I use them every day for writing and reaching my readers. It also allows me to communicate with readers, with people I collaborate with, and with friends and family. I could imagine no mobile devices, and working without devices … except when it comes to communicating. While writers have been spreading their ideas via paper for years, by opening up the lines of communication through the Internet, I’ve been able to spread my ideas without a publisher.
David: This is the first time Italian readers are enjoying your thoughts and experiences.
I would tell that minimalism and simplicity lead to a life that is even more intense, more pleasurable and more rich that the materialism-based one. You really develop a virtuous cycle in your life, and you start committing yourself to your real priorities. You start to see positive feedback that encourages you to continue doing things that you love. Your body starts to look better, your mind starts to feel better, you begin to carry yourself with more confidence, and you become happier. And because you are achieving these things on your own, and defining your own reality, you begin to feel less of a pull from the things around you. Your center of gravity grows relative to your world. Have you found any unexpected benefits in maintaining a healthy and simple lifestyle during these years?
Leo: The benefits of a minimalist, healthy lifestyle are too many to name — it touches everything you do, every part of your life. You have more energy when you’re ready to do things, you rest better when you’re ready to sleep. You feel good all the time, get sick less often, enjoy life more. It’s been amazing.
David: Sometimes we are too worried about future and past, that we completely forget living our present. If we think about the importance of the mental aspect of minimalist lifestyle for a moment, was the minimal computing environment helpful to get your work done?
Leo: Minimalist computing is using simple tools, and letting the tools and the operating system get out of the way so you can actually do your work. People tend to fiddle with their programs and operating system too much — when you get all that out of the way, you don’t fiddle with it. You just get on with it.
David: Simplyfing processes in our life, as well as in computing, is part of the minimalist lifestyle. Leo, I know that you have been simplifying your morning routines and many other things in your life deliberately during these years of minimalist living. But, have you ever had the idea, at a certain point, that you couldn’t simplify anymore?
Leo: I think as we reach a new level of understanding about anything, including simplifying, we see further down the road. We can simplify more. That’s been my experience so far, and I’m guessing that as I simplify things, I’ll find other ways to simplify after that. But maybe not: maybe one day I’ll just sit down and say, “I’m done!” Until then, I’m enjoying the journey.