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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

Turn Down the Volume

With all the technological advances of the past few decades, we’ve become more efficient than ever. But, of course, with every discrete bit of input from our laptops, tablets, smartphones, earbuds, email, apps, and Wi-Fi toasters, our world has grown louder.

Noise is an unintentional byproduct of productivity. The more we produce, the more we increase the volume. Eventually the noise is so loud we must shout to be heard.

There are many ways to turn down the volume:

Check social media only once a day.
Turn off all notifications—beeps, dings, bells, whistles.
Make time—schedule alone time, quiet time, free time.
Respond to only the emails that require a response.
Ensure your creations add value, not just noise.
Unfollow, unfriend, mute, block, opt out, let go.
Speak less, meditate more, breathe deeply.

The best way to turn down the volume is to avoid turning it up in the first place. As with your car stereo, the potential for noise is always there, sure, but the noise itself is present only if we allow it to be—only if we crank the knob clockwise. Otherwise, silence reigns supreme.

This essay was published in our side project, Minimalism Life.