In March I disconnected the data service to my Smart Phone. This means no e-mail, Facebook or web browsing on my phone. Text messages are OK, that’s it. My phone may have less IQ right now, but boy was it a good move.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this single move has had the biggest impact on my ability to get things done, focus and more effectively manage my time in the past few years.
You see, when I have 24/7 ubiquitous access to email <work and personal> I take advantage of that to allow what I call “slop” to encroach in during times when I should be focused. Instead of focusing and getting work done during the day so I can relax and spend time with friends at night, I dink around during the day and then try to stay connected and take care of business when I shouldn’t.
It also makes it so much easier to just react to other people’s bad behaviors. I work in an environment where people e-mail at all hours of the day and night. In only a few limited cases are these after hours emailed really urgent (like maybe once a month if that). When I had e-mail access on my phone, I would play into the drama and react to mail at the wrong times.
…and don’t get me started about Facebook….updating my status over phone had zero impact on solving world hunger.
Perhaps the biggest thing….is that work would just be on my mind more. Checking e-mail quickly before walking into a movie theater would keep me from really enjoying a movie. Any thought leaves a residue behind and it takes a while for that residue to fully dissolve. It keeps me from really being in the moment.
So now, 10 months after embarking on what was a 30-day challenge to go “smart phone free” …..I am still sticking with it and have no plans on turning back. Right now, I just don’t have the will power to use and not abuse the full capabilities of a Smart Phone and my guess is that neither do most other people.