I recently read “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. Although the message of the book was clear and actionable, I struggled to get past certain pages.
I spent weeks avoiding the “quit social media” chapter because frankly, I believed that was an unnecessary piece of advice. Thousands of people make a living from social media and for most of them, that’s the only kind of deep work they’d rather do. But Cal wasn’t referring to this group of people. He was referring to me — who used to spend several hours a day scrolling through Instagram with no purpose.
Around this time last year, a significant event prompted me to delete the Instagram app from my phone. At first, I thought I’d take a break for a few weeks but the weeks turned into months and here I am, one year later, blissfully oblivious to Instagram trends. After getting rid of the app, I gradually started to feel less anxious, became more content with my life, and find joy in things I hardly ever felt were worth doing in the past. It was some sort of free detox.
For you, social media might not be the detox, but perhaps there’s something in your life that you need to intentionally do away with to get one step closer to finding peace and joy. In deep work, Cal recommends taking a few weeks off a social media platform (or whatever it is for you) and then accessing the impact before deciding whether or not to get rid of it completely.
Deep workdidn’t influence my decision to delete the Instagram app but it contributed to keeping it away. I’ve gone ahead to delete Twitter as well but I can’t say for sure if there’s a plus side to that yet. I might have just replaced the time spent on Twitter with LinkedIn but as long as anxiety is kept at bay, I’d say the exercise is working fine for me.