In the book Hyperfocus, the author recommends that you leave your phone somewhere else when you’re trying to work. I agree with this sentiment 100%. It’s amazing how often I find that device in my hand without thinking about it or meaning to. It’s well and truly an addiction.
Your phone is a tempting toy. It can take over your life if you let it. It’s so easy to let it. That’s the point of it. It’s by design.
The colorful shiny screen beckons you with its dopamine hits. Maybe there’s a new text or Whatsapp conversation or message from a suitor on the dating app.
But no, most of the time, when I check my phone, there’s nothing there. Most of the time, it’s all for naught and I’m just wasting my life opening up the same apps over and over again without thought.
Thoughtlessness is my biggest fear.
Occasionally there is something on my phone that’s worthwhile, so I am satiated enough not to chuck it in the river. That’s the problem. This toy can be super useful.
Unfortunately, these toys are also destroying our attention span and focus.
Here’s an experiment if you’re into experiments. The author of Hyperfocus recommends keeping your phone next to you while you’re working and counting how many times you involuntarily pick it up.
I tried this and my number is a lot. I couldn’t keep track.
When my phone is next to me, it magically makes its way into my hands without me even thinking about it.
I don’t have a television and only watch TV when I’m house-sitting. But if my phone is next to me while watching it, I’ll find myself scrolling through the little screen and not staring at the big screen.
If I keep it in another room and on silent while I’m doing something, I’m a much more productive person.
Productivity makes me happy.
Having my phone in bed with me is a sure way to destroy the morning. I can lay in bed, squinting at my phone for longer than I’m proud of, just breezing through internet dreck. It’s better to leave it in another room overnight.
The author of the same book I mentioned above also says that having your phone next to you while you’re interacting with another person diverts your attention from the other person. A part of your consciousness is invested in the phone and you check it unconsciously. It’s an ingrained habit.
One of my hopes for my life is to minimize my time peering at screens, so I have a bunch of resolutions that attempt to pry me away from them. Do you have any suggestions to add? Or are you not addicted to your phone?
Resolutions for minimizing screen time
- No electronics in the bedroom.
- No internet before noon.
- Keep phone in other room.
- Try the gray scale app that makes the screen black and white and less appealing.
- Avoid time-wasters like Reddit and Freecell.
- Keep phone tucked away when hanging out with people.