Do you find yourself thumbing through your smartphone at stoplights? In line at the grocery store? While watching TV? While you’re with your children or your spouse.
At the risk of sounding like an ESPN 30-for-30 preview, what if I told you your smartphone… wasn’t?
Recently, I quit Facebook for 30 days to see what impact it would make on my life. I thought I spent too much time there. What I learned is that I missed certain people a bunch and others not-so-much.
I also learned I wasn’t so addicted to Facebook as I was staring at my freaking phone… Facebook, twitter, blog posts, emails, and much of it was mindless!
So, Sunday evening, I made the conscious choice to be more mindful and intentional in my life, my work, and my media usage. I’m challenging you to do the same.
To join my 30-day smartphone cleanse, you need to agree to do three things. We’ll wrap up on November 22nd, right before Thanksgiving week in America, and we can decide if our lives have been made better or worse and whether we wish to continue.
But you won’t know if you don’t try, and you need to give it 30 days.*
Three Rules for the 30-Day Smartphone Cleanse
1. Take All The Mindless Apps Off Your Phone
Delete twitter, Facebook, instagram, LinkedIn and whatever other social media apps you use off your phone. Take your email accounts off your phone. Take your RSS reeder and your other magazine style apps off. Take off all the news apps. I’m not saying you can’t do these things, but when you use them, you’ll be intentionally using them on your laptop or desktop or other device. It makes it much harder to mindlessly scroll. Here’s my new home screen:
I’ve also turned on the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone. It allows only my six or seven favorites to break through my wall of focus to reach me in case of emergency.
2. No Smartphone In The Bedroom At Night
It was the last thing I used at night, and it was the first thing I reached for in the morning. That’s madness. We have a home phone. If there’s an emergency at 3:30 AM, we can still be reached. If your smartphone is the only means for someone to reach you or it’s your alarm clock, put in on the other side of the room.
If you’re watching tv, watch tv. If you’re reading, read. If you’re playing with your children, for heaven’s sake, play with your children.
What do you say?
Are you ready to stop being a servant to your phone? Are you ready to focus on one thing at a time? Are you ready to get more meaningful stuff done in both worktime and playtime?
Give me thirty days. I think I’ll change your life.
* There will be people who say, “just be more disciplined.” These are the same people who, when I quit smoking using Chantix, remarked either “well, I quit cold turkey,” or “so, you needed drugs, huh?” Ignore them. These people tend to ruin everything. They can all go to an island and pat each other on the back for being better than the rest of us.