Tech: Are you the slave or the master?

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:

  1. I use Brave instead of Chrome. Every page loads 2-8x faster and I don't get distracted by ads. Win.
  2. 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.
  3. I meditate on my daily bus commute instead of reading news articles and checking emails
  4. 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!