Deepen Your Why
Consumption, consumption, consumption.
More media on more devices means more stimuli pulling our attention away from our work.
We’ve got to deepen the why behind our chief desire. Repeat it to ourselves daily. Have it memorized.
Let’s reflect on our goal continuously until we get to the point where we can mute this extraneous media at will.
We can’t get distracted now. We have too many resources and not enough time.
Why are you pursuing what you’re pursuing? Unplug and find out.
Some Tools For Limiting Device Usage
1. Check email and social media at set times
Do you have the habit of picking up your phone every 1–2 hours to check if you’ve received anything in your inboxes? Very toxic habit. I’m guilty of it too.
By far the best remedy for me has been to set specific times when I check email and social media. I choose 12pm, 6pm and 10pm (roughly). This is not easy by any means but simply having those milestones minimizes my urge to pick up my phone.
2. Set your phone’s display to grayscale
Colors are very stimulating. They grab our attention and excite us. Changing your display to grayscale can dim down the stimuli.
This can be done in the accessibility settings of your phone.
iOS10: Accessibility > Display accommodations > Color filters
Android: Enable developer mode (tap build number within settings > about phone multiple times), go to developer options and turn it on, under hardware accelerated rendering, click “Simulate color space” and set it to Monochromacy
3. Turn off app notifications
App notifications are extremely distracting. Who doesn’t love seeing a new message come in?
But are they really necessary? We only use a handful of apps. And given our habits, we’re likely to check the apps regardless whether we got a notification or not.
My family and friends know to call or text when something’s urgent. I keep my notifications on for those functions. But that’s it.
4. Freedom app
This is leaning more towards the cold turkey approach. This app blocks the internet, social media and/or apps.