70: Digital Decluttering, with Shahid Kamal Ahmad

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Shahid’s voice is mesmerizing. And I think he’s right, too!


I agree - I could sit and listen to him for hours!

I found the discussion of infinity pool apps interesting. In a way, I find apps with “infinite” content less distracting than apps with finite content. Take RSS versus Apple News for example. The number of stories in my RSS feed is finite. That does place a limit on the amount of time I could conceivably spend in the app on any given day. However, when combined with my completionist tendencies, it gives me an incentive to spend all of that time. If I don’t, somewhere in the back of my mind there will be this gnawing little awareness that I have unread stories in my RSS feeds. Apple News is effectively infinite, there’s more than 24 hours worth of content in there every day. But because there’s no way I could read all of it, when I stop reading Apple News I find it easier to put it out of my mind entirely.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this episode of MPU…oops…Focused. That’s not to say I agree with everything in it (for me, personally), but I loved the thorough dig into this topic with such a reasoned point of view.

At this point, I can’t see myself doing this kind of disconnect method. However, if that changes, I appreciate the techniques shared in this episode.

I wonder how much technology is to blame in current problems (some of which were cited in this episode), or if it’s just the newest thing to blame. Anecdotally, it seems like the new technology has always been blamed for XYZ problem. But maybe this is different, because some of the apps and services are designed to be much more addictive. So time will tell, but I’m still not convinced quite yet.

I think it’s funny how many people in tech are proposing to disconnect or greatly reduce their (and others’?) use of tech. I enjoy following these changes over time!

Great episode all. Would love to listen to Shahid again on a future episode.

Edit: HA! Was not very…focused…when I wrote my post. Corrected to the right podcast! Lol


I think this was Focused, rather than MPU.
Sounds like I might need to give Focused a try.

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Wow, thanks for that catch! :man_facepalming:


The main takeaway for me was - don’t let your greatness regret in life be that your closest “personal” relationship was with your iPhone (I think there’s a Sheryl Crow lyric in there somewhere).

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What a great episode!

I hadn’t really realised, but I went through a process of trying to break my reliance on my iPhone about 6 months ago. I downgraded to an iPhone SE 16GB, specifically to introduce a pain point to my device usage. I have to be intentional about what apps I install or else I run out of storage.

I have suffered some creep in the last month or so, such as having email back on my phone.

This episode has given me new and refreshed impetus to clear out again. I really need to look at the screen time controls too to see what I can do there.

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You can turn off Touch ID (if you haven’t already). A little more friction. Careful entering your passcode when standing at the urinal though.

I agree with this. I specifically see this in myself with podcasts. I start feeling pressure to listen more when my list starts to build with episodes I haven’t listened to. Compare this to FM radio, or streaming music, there’s less anxiety to stop listening. At least for myself, I think this is because a “finite” source (RSS or podcasts) are specifically for me and curated by me, as well as always growing. If I don’t listen to an episode of a specific episode quick enough there will be another one coming behind it. I’ve started to get over this a bit by allowing myself to not listen to every episode of every podcast (except Focused :slight_smile:), but still deleting episodes is difficult because it is almost like I am admitting defeat. Time is a finite resource though.


Is this the book mentioned about will to fail?


I’m not sure, I looked for quite awhile for that but had trouble locating it. Let me ask Shahid if he has a link.

This the link he gave me: https://www.amazon.com/Wake-Up-Live-Dorothea-Brande/dp/0346124158

Looks like 2 different kindle versions of the same book, will get samples down and verify… maybe later working on getting irrigation going tomorrow