Digital detox trending

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This morning’s news headlines included a piece that described how the average adult in the UK now spends a day per week online. The irony of this post is not lost on me. If you’re reading this, then you’re also online. I’m online as I type this blog post…

Digital declutter

Minimalists already know that a digital declutter can be like a breath of fresh air. Leave the iPad behind when you go on holiday and your awareness of your surroundings – and others – improves. How many of us have walked along the pavement whilst texting? That’s the cause of people bumping into others, according to this latest research.

Swapping smart phone to dumb phone

If a physical declutter can free the mind of extraneous ‘noise’ then imagine what a digital detox can do. I’ve made a recent shift in this regard. I dropped and smashed  my iPhone…. again. Having paid for that device with my hard-earned cash, my attention and my anxiety, I decided enough was enough. Instead of paying £60 to repair the phone, I swapped the broken device for a pay-as-you-go phone. My bills have halved but I can still use my favourite apps and get online with a tablet.

What’s a phone really for?

So, what’s a phone really for? This is not a trick question. Of course, it’s a tool with which we make contact with others using the voice or by text. But it became so much more with the advent of the smart phone, as ‘telephone’ gave way to miniature personal computer. So, if this clever phone is really such a smart thing, why are so many people pushing back – resisting the irresistible and eschewing social media, if only for a short time? Perhaps they are rediscovering the joy of simplicity and enjoying what this brings.

So, can you do a digital detox? Will you? And what will you notice when you do?

A minimalist’s dress code

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Clothes are an expensive commodity, particularly where fashion is concerned. We have to have them, so we can’t ignore them. Yet their purchase can take up a disproportionate amount of money and time. There are also social ‘rules’ around what we can wear in certain situations. There are expectations, both in terms of our own and others’ expectations about what to where when. How many times have we looked in the wardrobe and said, “I’ve nothing to put on!”?

A minimalist’s perspective

Minimalism offers a different perspective, although not everyone follows the same path. It’s certainly more straightforward when there are fewer decisions to make. Take Mark Zuckerberg, for example. The Facebook entrepreneur is famous not only for his social media platform; he is also known for wearing the same clothes every single day. For him, it’s about reducing the need for trivial decisions, so that he can concentrate on the things that matter to him more. Barack Obama, as President, chose to fill his wardrobe with identical copies of the same beautifully tailored suit.

Project 333

Courtney Carver of BeMoreWithLess began a revolution, when she launched Project 333. Wearing just 33 items over a 3 month period, reducing her wardrobe to this manageable number enabled her to see what she owned; released her from the tyranny of spending; and enabled her to focus on the aspects of her life that she truly cared about. If you’re in the US right now, check out Courtney’s Tiny Wardrobe Tour. You won’t be disappointed.

My approach

So, what do I do? Well, everyone’s different. I’m lucky in that I work in a setting where smart casual is absolutely fine. So, I don’t have to have “work clothes” or “casual clothes”. I just have clothes.

Like TV’s Kirstie Allsopp, I’m also a lover of dresses. I maintain that if you have a dress, you have an outfit, so you’re always ‘good to go’. I’ve recently discovered Onjenu via my local stockist, Coco Rose, in Warwick.

Oh, the joy of a dress that fits well, goes in the washing machine, hangs to dry, then can be worn again… with absolutely no ironing whatsover. Fabulous!

So, as my existing dresses begin to wear out, I’ll transition to this brand whose 1960’s/70’s-inspired prints are right up my street. Maybe one day, this simple approach will enable me to give up ironing altogether, thus directing my attention towards the areas of life that mean more to me. It’s a dress code I’m prepared to buy into!