In 2015 I realized I had a problem. I woke up first thing in the morning and checked my email on my phone. I skimmed social media and read articles on my commute to work. I spent all day at work in front of a screen. I continued my phone-in-face routine on my way home, after dinner and before bed.
I was so tired by the end of each day I often felt sick. Something had to change... I was a slave to technology.
Trying to solve the behavior addiction
I've been trying different approaches to moderate my device addiction. Some were more effective than others.
Three days ago I decided to radically revamp my relationship with technology—specifically my smartphone, social media and the internet. I read Jake Knapp's Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone and took his advice immediately. I picked up my phone and:
- Deleted all my social media apps
- Deleted all my news apps
- Removed my browser
- Turned off all but the most essential notifications
I'm four days into the experiment and I feel completely liberated. I feel in control. I feel like a different person.
Digital mastery motivated by parenthood
As a new father I've been faced with the challenge of caring for a newborn and working as a consultant all while stewarding our home, homestead and finances.
I now feel like I have a totally different relationship with technology, one that is rooted in control. I've removed the behavior hooks of notifications and ultimate ease-of-use. I can now leverage these incredilby powerful tools to maximize their benefits and reduce their costs.
I no longer have to succomb to the tech giant's call of sirens to pick up my phone 80 times a day. I'm in control.
Small change, big results
Along with creating a distraction-free iPhone, I've also made a few other behavior interventions that are having big results:
- I use Brave instead of Chrome. Every page loads 2-8x faster and I don't get distracted by ads. Win.
- I use Ecosia instead of Google search. They're a search engine that uses their profits to plant trees where they are needed most. Much better than giving Google all your private information so they can sell ads to you.
- I meditate on my daily bus commute instead of reading news articles and checking emails
- I wear running shoes and get off the bus 1.5 miles before my usual destination so I can get 3 miles of running in every day as a part of my daily routine
Give it a go
If you're looking to regain control over your digital life buy the book Make Time, give it a quick skim and try some of the methods. Small change leads to big results. Give it a go and see what works!