Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now”

Did you realise your mind are constantly engaged even though its about time to sleep or even while having lunch with your friend?

Did you realise that you are still checking your work phone on a weekend or while on a holiday?

Did you realise that you are constantly waiting for the next email or phone notification even though there are actually nothing showing up on your phone?

Did you realise that the first thing you reach out for in the morning is actually your phone? Just to check if you missed any emails, messages, news or even social media alerts.

I guess you are not alone and probably it already manifested to almost everyone in your family. Working From Home (WFH) during Covid-19 makes it worse by blurring the line between work and family and we are guilty of passing the screens to our kids in order for us to work more efficiently. All these small habits led to the rise of myopia among the kids – Singapore being among the highest in the world due to a lack of outdoor play as reported in a Straits Times article.

Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now” — Engage

Another Channel News Asia article also pointed out that Asian parents are usually time poor due to our busy work routines as quoted in their article as below:

“Time-poor parents are not putting sufficient emphasis on activities for children and relying heavily on electronic devices for the children’s activities and even child minding. COVID-19 has worsened the situation.

“Our young children are kept at home more, have fewer social interactions and physical activities, using electronic devices for longer periods of time, and sleeping less.”

Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now” — Engage

And of course, the adults were not spared from this Covid-19 ordeal. An increased number of adults reported they have dry eye disease and one of them happens to be my ex-colleague where she was forbidden to look at the screen for prolong period of time. This might also affect her employability going forward as most jobs out there do involve the screen in one way or another.

Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now” — Engage

Mental health is also another big issue among us where you find yourself unable to cope with your emotions at times and you became unsure of what makes you happy any more which led to the rise of anxiety and depression as mentioned in this article “How Covid-19 changed the way we live, work and shop in Singapore“.

To cope with some of the above issues, my morning routine nowadays includes sending my kids to school before I start a morning walk around my estate where I will try to engage all my senses consciously. They include closing my eyes for short period of time to listen intently to distinguish that there are indeed different species of birds chirping, feeling the gentle breeze that brushes past my face and looking at the distant clouds moving slowly across the sky. These simple actions do allow me to feel truly alive, practice gratitude and living in the “Now”. As we do allocate quite a lot time glued to our screen, be it for work or leisure, we do lost our awareness towards our surroundings and people. We became fixated to the online virtual world where we are constantly engaged with all the the online news, social medias, online shopping and of course, the entertainment like your favorite Netflix etc.

When I was walking past some people during my walk, I always tend to say “Hi” or wave at them just to acknowledge their presence and greet them which I think its basic human civility. But a lot of people are usually plugged into their earphones or probably scrolling through their smart phones while “walking” and avoided eye contact with me. It became even more obvious when I step into the public transport nowadays where I guess almost 95% (probably an understatement) of the commuters are looking at their smart phone. One of the saddest reality came when I step into a restaurant to notice that the family of four having their dinner sitting next to me were all glued their individual devices. In my mind, I was thinking what is the point of going out for dinner with your family or friends when you are not talking to each other physically.

Sometimes, I really do feel that people close to us are drifting further apart even though we see them everyday but they seem to be more familiar with their virtual friends or acquittances (like in a Metaverse). I guess everyone is probably aware of this phenomenon and mine probably started 15 years ago since the first iPhone launched. With the WFH routine due to Covid-19, everyone seems to be entrenched into this habit which might have long term irreparable damage to our quality of life.

I started to do some digital detoxification by reducing my apps on my phone, switching off some unnecessary notifications and also unsubscribe from quite a lot of automated emailers. The main aim is to remove the unnecessary “Busyness” in our daily lives, being present and spend quality time with my loved ones. I tried to include a lot of off-screen reading with books from the library, physical fun time with kids at home like starting an aquarium, planting, boardgames and lastly encourage outdoor activities with family and friends. I also try not look at the screen for prolong period of time in front of my kids and hopefully this will cultivate a good habit for them. My bedtime routine consist of a silent reading session with my daughter before we go to bed and put my phone outside the bedroom to make sure we have uninterrupted sleep.

Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now” — Engage

Minimalism does help me to filter out all the noise, regain awareness of all these issues to a large extent and also recognizing that something should be done to address them. But I guess this will always be a work in progress and I will probably share some future updates again.

Do you face such issues too? Are you aware of it? And how do you mitigate it?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Minimalist in the City – Living in the “Now” — Engage

Important: The information and opinions in this article are for general information purposes only. They should not be relied on as professional financial advice. Readers should seek independent financial advice that is customised to their specific financial objectives, situations & needs. This advertisement or publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Published By:

David Wu

With more than 20 years professional experience in various industry sectors, I had spent the last 10 years in banking and finance with a strong interest towards personal finance which led to my current role as an independent adviser and financial coach.

I strongly believe in cultivating a life-long relationships with clients and helping them to reach their financial goals and objectives through holistic financial planning. I am also actively involved in bringing financial literacy to individuals who are currently underrepresented through financial education and speaking engagements.

I am also the founder of a financial blog – Minimalist In The City (www.minimalistinthecity), which advocates minimalism and financial independence. The aim is to promote living a simple and meaningful life with less yet achieving financial success at the same time.

Outside of work, I am a family man who enjoys adventure and endurance sports and aspire to scale one of the seven summits Mt Kilimanjaro.

You may reach me via email


Contact Me

What type of services are you looking for? 请问您需要咨询哪些方面的服务?(Please select all that applies)


By submitting this form, I confirm that


  • I have read and understood FAPL’s Personal Data Policy, and hereby give my acknowledgement and consent to FAPL to use my personal data in accordance with FAPL’s Personal Data Policy.
  • 我已阅读并理解鑫盟理财私人有限公司的个人数据保护政策,并同意鑫盟理财私人有限公司根据个人数据保护政策所阐述的用途使用我的个人资料。
  • I have read and understood the disclaimers above and hereby affirm my acceptance of these terms.
  • 我已阅读并理解了上述免责声明,特此声明接受这些条款。
  • I have not been directly contacted or approached by any representative or employee of FAPL with an offer or solicitation to apply for any financial products not offered in my home country.
  • 鑫盟理财私人有限公司的代表或员工并未直接与我联系或提出要约或招揽购买我原居住国境内所不提供的任何金融产品.
  • Financial Alliance Pte Ltd ( “FAPL”) is licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) and allowed to conduct financial advisory activities in accordance with the Financial Advisers Act (Cap. 110) (“FAA”) and the Securities & Futures Act (Cap. 289) (“SFA”) within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Singapore and in accordance with the licenses granted by MAS
  • 鑫盟理财私人有限公司( “鑫盟理财”)持有由新加坡金融管理局(“MAS”)所颁发的牌照,并许可在新加坡共和国境内依据财务顾问法(第110章)和证券与期货交易法(第289章)进行财务咨询等相关业务
  • Any services provided by FAPL to persons not ordinarily resident in Singapore are provided solely on an offshore basis from Singapore, resulting from direct enquiry on the part of the foreign residents.
  • 鑫盟理财为非新加坡居民所提供的任何服务仅限于直接向鑫盟理财发出咨询请求的国外居民。
  • As an integral part of the provision of such services, FAPL may from time to time make available to such residents, documents and information making reference to capital markets products (for example, in connection with the provision of fund management or investment advisory services outside of the foreign jurisdiction).
  • 作为提供此类服务的一部分,鑫盟理财会不时向此类咨询者提供有关产品的参考文件和信息(例如,关于海外司法管辖区以外的资金管理或投资咨询服务等信息)。
  • Such documents and information are provided by Financial Alliance Pte Ltd (“FAPL”) is for general information only and is not intended for anyone other than the recipient.
  • 此类由鑫盟理财所提供的文件和信息仅供收件人做一般信息参考。
  • It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person.
  • 此类文件和信息不会把-个人投资目标,财务状况或其特定需求等考虑在内。
  • It does not constitute the making available of, or an offer or solicitation by FAPL to buy or sell or subscribe for any such capital markets product or to enter into a transaction or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy nor an advice or a recommendation with respect to such financial products.
  • 鑫盟理财向该人士提供此类文件和信息将不构成要约或招揽购买或出售或认购任何此类资本市场产品,或达成交易或参与任何特定的投资策略,也不构成有关此类金融产品的建议或推荐。
  • These documents may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part to any other person without FAPL’s prior written consent.
  • 未经鑫盟理财的事先书面同意,不得将这些文件全文或部分发布,传播,复制或分发给其他人。
  • This document is not intended for distribution to, publication or use by any person in any jurisdiction, where such distribution, publication or use would be contrary to applicable law or would subject FAPL and its related corporations, connected persons, associated persons and/or affiliates to any registration, licensing or other requirements within such jurisdiction.
  • 鑫盟理财无意在分发,出版或使用此类文件可能违反当地法律,或本公司及关联公司或关联人士需要注册,获得许可或符合规定的司法权区向当地人士分发、出版此类文件或供其使用。
  • You shall ensure that you have and will continue to be fully compliant with all applicable laws in your home country when entering into discussion or contracts with FAPL.
  • 在与鑫盟理财进行讨论或签订合约时,您应确保您已完全遵守并将继续遵守您所在原居住国的所有适用法律及条规。

In compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act, Financial Alliance Pte Ltd (“FAPL”) seek your consent to collect and use your personal data (e.g. name, NRIC, contact numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses and photograph) for the purposes of and in accordance with FAPL’s Data Protection Policy, which can be found on FAPL’s website at

根据《个人数据保护法》,鑫盟理财私人有限公司征求您的同意向您收集并使用您的个人信息。鑫盟理财将根据公司的个人数据保护政策所阐述的用途使用您的个人资料(例如姓名,证件号码,联系电话,邮寄地址,电邮地址和照片)。 该政策可在本公司网站上查寻,网址为

By submitting this form, you are deemed to have read and understood FAPL’s Personal Data Policy.


Scan for Contact Details

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on our latest content!

By providing the info below, I confirm that I am the user and/or subscriber of the telephone number(s) and email address provided by me and I consent to receive from Financial Alliance and/or its financial adviser representatives, any marketing, advertising and promotional information organise by Financial Alliance via voice calls, SMS/MMS (text messages) or faxes to my telephone number(s) provided below. I understand I may withdraw any consent I have given at any time by writing in to Financial Alliance Pte Ltd.

Scan for WeChat QR