At the end of my last blog on living without my phone I touched on how I hoped to reduce my dependence on it and I’m surprised to say I have had success on this front.
I think being without a phone for a short period was a blessing in disguise. I’m not normally a fan of going cold turkey but it has helped me re-evaluate just when my phone is, and isn’t, helpful to me.
Since I’ve got my phone bar I’ve removed almost all notifications except for text messages. Notifications are tyrannical, demanding your attention as soon as your phone pings – pulling you away from whatever you were doing at the time.
This used to eat up my time and have me rushing from one thing to another, feeling like I’m never making any progress as the notifications pile up.
Instead I now can check my emails or to-do list when I want to and have time to devote specifically to them. I thought this would affect my productivity or that I would miss lots of important things but it has had the opposite effect – it’s allowed me to focus on the things that matter instead of clicking on an alert from an app I barely use.
The number of apps I have on my phone has reduced dramatically as well, all part of a digital declutter. As my phone came back without any apps on it, I only reinstalled them as I needed them and realised how few I actually need day-to-day, especially when I work in an office all day with the internet at my fingertips. Not a surprise, but helped me realise the importance of applying a minimalist approach to your phone.
One other benefit has been I’ve gained greater concentration and I can better focus on one thing at a time now. Before it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to watch something on TV and have my phone out, never really concentrating on one thing and becoming frustrated.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have gained back time but I find I can sit down and work on a task a lot easier without using my phone to help me procrastinate.
The final revelation from living without my phone is that I’m wearing a watch again.
I know, not exactly ground breaking stuff (!) but it has helped an old tech addict break the urge to look at his phone. I used to think that a watch was pointless these days as we have clocks on our phones and while that is still true I realised when you’re hooked on your phone (like I was) having other ways to access information stops you from getting sucked into your phone
The humble watch has helped me do that, restricting the use of my phone to when I need it has been an important distinction.
I understand that this post is probably more for the tech addicts among you but thought it worth sharing to help stop the rise of the phone zombies!