The Ericksons

Category Archives: Digital Minimalism


Unplug from technology

How would you like to have more time, less stress and feel more at ease every day? Today I am going to look at one way to approach technology that could revolutionize your life. We are going to look at what it would mean to unplug from the constant connection that today’s ever-present technology represents. Don’t worry. You won’t have to hide in a cabin in the woods (although that can be fun). I will give you some simple tips to help you unplug in moderation—just enough to change your life.Email“On average, office workers receive at least 200 messages a day and spend about two-and-a-half hours reading and replying to emails.”[1]As someone who has battled her inbox and found some success, I have a couple of tips for this time-sucker. Schedule 2 times each day to check your email and limit those times to 15 minutes. You can do it! Here’s how:Don’t answer emails that don’t require a response. It’s not rude. It saves both you and the other person time.Don’t send emails unless they are necessary. The fewer emails you send, the fewer you will get.By limiting your “inbox appointments” to 15 minutes, you will feel a sense of Read more…


Read Books

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is R is for, Read Books, Be More Creative.You gain knowledge when you read booksPeople seem to be moving from reading books to reading short pieces on the internet such as this blog. I am by no means advocating unfollowing this blog (heaven forbid that!) but it’s important that you don’t replace reading books with reading blogs. They each serve a different function. Books are built to last. They will give you knowledge on a deeper level. As you will read in this post, when you read a book, you change your mind—really.Reading increases your vocabulary.This is particularly true for fiction readers, likely because fiction tends to use a larger variety of words than non-fiction. In fact, in people who already read somewhat, and then increase their level of reading, their vocabulary by 2,000 words. However, Read more…


Bullet Journal

I’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ways to increase your creativity. I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will share posts that focus on caregiving. I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is B is for Bullet Journal.Welcome my first video edition of Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker. You can also read more details in the traditional post, below the video. The Bullet Journal (BuJo for short) is an analog system for the digital age it was created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer living in Brooklyn, NY.UsesMost people who love the Bullet Journal system use it as a combination planner and journal. It’s the perfect way to keep track of your life and your goals in one place. I’ve found the Bullet Journal to be indispensable is in planning my content. I have 2 websites with different posting schedules—plus an email list. On top of that, I have my writing schedule. Finding the time to do these things isn’t half as difficult as finding the ideas to keep the Read more…


Things I've learned from my digital detox

This is the last post in my series of posts on digital minimalism. I will share the key things I’ve learned from my digital detox. One of the things I’ve learned from my digital detox is that…Multitasking doesn’t workWhen you multitask, you are actually rapidly interrupting one task with another. Your brain then has to recall what you are trying to do and how to do it. In the example of watching an adventure film, baking cookies and working on your novel, you aren’t actually doing these things at the same time (no matter how coordinated you are). Your brain has to stop one activity and then reset itself to begin the next one.Everyone has had the experience of talking to a friend while doing something. Then you stop and say, “What was I doing” your conversation interfered with your task. Now your brain needs to reset itself to the task at hand. Many a turn has been missed by my husband while he was talking to me in the car. Often, we think that we’re saving time, or being more efficient. The truth is that even if we do save time, it’s at the cost of quality. Multitasking is one Read more…


Day by day Journal of my Digital Detox

Last month I took a break from a lot of the technology that I use every day as a writer and as someone who loves technology as much as the next guy or gal. During that time I kept a journal of how things were going. I thought you might find some of my observations interesting. I’ve kept this very brief and as you read it you’ll get an idea of what a 30-day digital detox can feel like. Again, this is a very personal experience, you someone else’s might be completely different.Day 1I’ve enjoyed my first technology free day. I haven’t missed anything other than my favorite computer game, which, for some reason, I have wanted to play several times today. I’ve noticed I’m more talkative with my family. I did have to send one text canceling an appointment tomorrow.Day 2I finished the book, A River in the Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea. It only took me 3 days of reading it aloud to my husband during “downtime.” Reading aloud has taken the place of Netflix before bed. He has remarked that he is really enjoying me reading to him. He always has, but he’s surprised that Read more…


Prepare for your digital detox

We’ve been looking digital minimalism and how taking some time away from your gadgets can improve your life. Ironically, using technology such as email auto-responders, blog post schedulers, email sorters, voicemails, and bill-pay, can actually help you prepare for your digital detox and make it more successful. Let’s take a look at a few simple ways to make your time away from technology easier.If you are taking a retreatGive an emergency contact a way to reach you for emergencies. It’s a good idea to specify what those emergencies are since different people consider different things urgent. You might not think that deciding what shade your best friend should color her hair qualifies as an emergency, but she may think it is. It’s important that someone knows how to get ahold of you if a member of your family becomes ill or gets locked out of the house.If you aren’t going on retreat, this shouldn’t be a problem, since you can be found where you usually live and work, and will likely have access to your phone.Put your toe over the starting linePrepare for your digital detox by easing into, it a week early. This way you can work out the kinks.Turn off Read more…


Guidelines for your digital detox

This post is the second in a series I am writing about digital minimalism. You can check out my post on why doing a digital detox is something you should consider, HERE. To get started, you will need to set some guidelines for your digital detox, digital declutter, technology fast, or any other term you want to use to describe it. These are the parameters you will use to reign in your use of gadgets and digital technology. There are some questions you need to answer to determine your own guidelines for your digital detox. I’ve included my own answers, but they are only one example of how to approach this.What do I hope to achieve/What is my goal?This is a very personal question. There is no right answer to it. It’s essential that you think about this at a deep level, though, in order to be able to hang in there when it gets tough. Your reason for reducing your technology use has to be bigger and more meaningful than the benefit you get from the technology use.My answer: Initially I volunteered to be part of an experiment in digital minimalism. But I also wanted to increase my creativity, Read more…


Doing a Digital Detox

During the month of January, I participated in an experiment for a fellow author who is looking at digital minimalism. I had done a lot of research on the subject, myself. As someone who spends countless hours on my laptop, I have often wondered how productive that time has been. Is there a better way to do what I do? And, most importantly, is all of that connectedness actually doing me more harm than good? After doing my research, I came to the conclusion that doing a digital detox might be the perfect way to start out the year.The thought of doing a digital detox for an entire month wasn’t easy to swallow, considering I’m a writer and blogger. I will be writing a series of posts explaining why I chose to go on a technology fast, how I did it, and my thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of embarking on such an extreme digital diet of sorts. I will also be offering you some ideas of how you can explore your digital life in a healthy way. Let’s begin by taking a look at why doing a digital detox is worth considering.Too much of a good thingIn the Read more…

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