Few weeks I ago I went to the restroom at work to do my business. When I went there, I found that I had forgotten my mobile phone on my desk. It led to a great revelation. I could not focus on my business, I was missing reading Google News cards and the BBC when I sat there. Ruminating on this, I understood how addicted I am to my phone.
Thinking back in more detail, I realized that I spend a significant amount of my time by these distractions. I start with these apps when I wake up, drink coffee, chill in the evening, eat lunch and dinner, commuted to work on the train and so forth. I also essentially used them as an excuse to waste/fill time. Of course, this is a symptom of a problem and this does not mean that if I don’t do it, then I would do productive work instead.
A few years back I did the same for another time waster (this was 2013)- I deleted all my games on my PC and all games apps on my iPad and Android phones (at that time I was on an Android before moving to the iGarden eco-system) — a significant time waster was the Candy Crush series — something that occupied my time.
So on Christmas day, I deleted three apps which I considered where the ones that I spent the most time on (Google Search — including its News cards, BBC and the LinkedIn — which I continue to use on limited basis thru a browser). I actually did not delete them as I could not let go of the apps — I therefore use the offload app feature in iOS to keep the link but remove the app. I could fool myself that I still had the app or I could get it back if I chose to bring it back.
It was certainly difficult for more than a week, missed the information a lot. I substituted by using the BBC app on my Samsung Smart TV for a few minutes in the evenings some of the days.
After two weeks, I find that my behaviour has indeed changed. The first apps I start with are Calendar (iOS for work, and Google Calendar for personal) and my to-do list manager of choice ToDoist. Though it has not lead to remarkable improvement in the use of the time released from the distractions, the addiction to the phone has slowly reduced and in the process of going away.
Mind you, this is only one part of a change experiment from dozen’s of experiments that I do in a particular month and in future posts will continue to talk about them — both successful ones and from the failures and what I did with them. Were they sustainable? Did it make a difference? Keep tuning in.