It’s as if we’re married to our phones. The first thing I do when I wake up – check my phone. The last thing before I go to bed….. guess what? I kiss my phone goodnight. No I am not going to curse social media & tell you how bad Instagram is. It’s a tool, that’s it. It all depends on how we use it. I love sharing my photos & there have been plenty of times when I’ve seen something which inspired me & was useful.
There are a lot of issues. The main problem is that instead of me choosing what to do with this tool, the tool is ‘smart’ enough & keeps telling me what I should look at. (aka notifications)
The notification is someone else’s priority, not yours.
- A lot of times when I am working on something, I’ve found myself getting distracted by my phone’s screen lighting up due to a notification. I can’t help but take a sneak peek.
- 9/10 times the notification is absolute garbage. Even if it’s work related – it doesn’t need my immediate attention. It can wait.
- Even if I keep my phone upside down, the vibration also acts as a trigger – inviting me to check.
- Sometimes ‘that’ notification can trigger anxiety.
- While I am focusing on a task or working on a project- It keeps disrupting my train of thought & focus.
So here’s what I am doing to avoid being sucked into my phone screen.
- Enabled “Do not disturb” mode permanently. Only calls are allowed. (Basically my phone won’t vibrate & the screen won’t light up UNLESS someone is calling me)
- Disabled notifications for all applications including email. (Only exception : WhatsApp)
- Disable ‘Siri Suggestions’ where Siri shows you suggested or most used apps.
- Remove all apps from the first home screen & put them inside folders on the second home screen.
Step 3 & 4 both act as an extra step to open a distracting app. For instance, you’ll have to swipe and go to the second home screen, then click on a folder & then open ‘that app’. By then, hopefully you’ll abandon the idea if it’s not required at that moment.
The whole point is – If I feel like using Instagram, I want to do that manually. I don’t want a random notification enticing me. If I am working on task ‘X’ – I don’t want an email about task ‘Y’ to pop up & distract me.
I started this experiment a few weeks ago & already I am loving it. Let’s see how it goes. Will update this page soon with any additional steps I took & my experience!
Date : 5th March 2020
Currently I am using my phone almost 1.5 hrs daily & I pick it up about 130 times per day on an average.