Tame Your Digital Monkey. Click to listen (Part 1).

In the realm of our minds exists an age-old primate referred to as the 'monkey brain'. This ancient part of our psyche jumps from thought to thought, craves instant gratification, and gets easily distracted—much like a curious, impulsive monkey. Similarly, in the sprawling digital jungle, we find ourselves easily lost and overwhelmed, our attention snagged at every turn by the shiny, new, and immediate. This is your digital monkey, and it's time to tame it. With Digital Monkey, you will discover how to harness this monkey mind within your digital landscape, reclaim your attention, and make technology work for you.

Unchain Your Digital Monkey

First, we must understand our monkey brain's tendency to be captivated by the instant and ever-changing – much like the lure of social media feeds or notification pings. To begin taming your digital monkey, declutter your devices, removing apps that feed this primal impulse for ceaseless novelty and distraction.

Taming Techniques: Tips to Control Your Digital Monkey

Each of these tips is a step towards transforming your relationship with technology, enabling you to make more intentional, beneficial choices and better harness the advantages of your digital tools.

Notification Taming: Notifications are like fruits that attract your digital monkey. But too many fruits can lead to a chaotic, distraction-laden digital experience. Take charge and decide which notifications truly need your immediate attention, and disable the rest. This will significantly reduce interruptions, helping you maintain focus and productivity.

One of Each: Multiple apps for the same purpose create confusion and chaos. Keep one app for each function— one calendar, one to-do list, and one email app. Consistency simplifies decision-making and streamlines your digital life.

Tame Your Digital Monkey - The Third Blog

Device Simplification: Each device should serve a clear purpose. Overloading your devices with numerous features and apps can be overwhelming and lead to unnecessary distractions. Stick to essential features and remember that not every device needs to do everything.

I had email alerts enabled on my iPhone, iWatch and iPad. It's too much. Decide what each device is for and simplify both the use and output.

Efficient Typing: A major time-saver and a fundamental skill in our digital age, touch typing lets you navigate your digital world at speed. Say goodbye to the slow, error-prone pecking and welcome the seamless flow of words from your fingertips. There are various online courses and tools that can help you master this invaluable skill.

Password Manager: In the sprawling digital jungle, your monkey brain struggles to remember the login details for each account. A password manager is a lifesaver here, storing your passwords securely and auto-filling them when needed. It's like having a reliable guide in the jungle, always keeping you on track.

Now 2FA (2-factor authentication) is seemingly everywhere - why have yet another app when it can all be automated in one? We have so many passwords nowadays; from pin codes to website logins - make it easier for yourself!

Mono-tasking: Multitasking is a trap for the monkey brain, leading to mistakes, decreased productivity, and increased stress. There is SO much science around this. Prioritize mono-tasking, focusing on one task at a time. You'll find your work becomes more mindful and your productivity increases significantly.

Automation: Use the magic of automation to make repetitive tasks disappear, letting technology work for you while you focus on more important things. Automate email filtering, finance tracking, even meeting scheduling to stop that awful back and forth.

Focus Modes: Creating separate spaces for work and personal activities can do wonders for your productivity and work-life balance. Differentiate these spaces digitally too. Customize your device home screens for work and personal use, so you're not tempted to mix the two.

Mass Unsubscribe: Are you subscribed to too many newsletters, leaving your inbox cluttered and your mind overwhelmed? Be ruthless and unsubscribe from anything that doesn't bring value to your life. Keep the monkey's curiosity at bay and clear the path for what really matters.

I also set a filter to remove anything with the word 'unsubscribe' straight to my archive. It's probably not important.

Declutter Apps and Accounts: Over time, unused apps and dormant accounts pile up, creating unnecessary digital clutter. Regularly review and remove these. A leaner, cleaner digital space awaits.

Create > Consume: Encourage your digital monkey to craft, not just consume. Spend more time producing content, learning new skills, or working on personal projects. Active engagement is more rewarding and fulfilling.

Optimise Your Digital Monkey - The Third Blog
Tame Your Digital Monkey. Click to listen (Part 2).

End Doom Scrolling: The fear of missing out (FOMO) can lead to endless scrolling, a habit that serves neither your time nor your mental health. Try turning your screen to grayscale. This small tweak can make your screen less enticing, helping curb the scrolling instinct.

Inbox Zero: The sheer volume of emails received daily can seem overwhelming, often burying the important communications under a pile of trivial ones. Implement a tool like SaneBox, which leverages AI to categorize and filter your emails.

This will enable your digital monkey to easily navigate through significant messages and prevent it from getting overwhelmed by the barrage of nonessential emails. Be ruthless with this.

Tab Limiting: Just as a monkey swings from vine to vine, you might find yourself hopping between too many browser tabs. This scattered approach can severely disrupt your focus. Use a browser extension to limit your open tabs, encouraging more focused, mindful browsing.

Offline Time: The digital world is fast and incessant, and your digital monkey needs a break. Spend some time offline each day. Soak in natural light in the morning— it’s a simple, effective way to reset your circadian rhythm and promote overall well-being.

Through these tips and techniques, you can finally tame your digital monkey, reclaiming your time, attention, and peace of mind.

Thanks for reading.


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