current phone protocols to minimize addiction and maximize productivity

in late may i had the idea to write up my current phone/text message protocols and i’m just getting around to it now. here are the few things i’m doing right now to undermine the ways that ubiquitous phone and phone-based internet/social media usage undermines focus and my ability to flow.

  1. airplane mode while working: if i’m doing focused work on my computer or on paper in writing, my phone is on airplane mode. i often use pomodoros so my phone is on airplane mode for 25 mins at a time and then i turn on the signal for the five minute break. then back on airplane mode it goes.

  2. following from that, i batch my texts to people. i don’t text anyone while my phone is on airplane mode (including using imessage on my computer – imessage on the desktop is a brilliant apple trap, imho). if i think of someone i need to text while i’m working, i use apple stickies to write down the person’s name and what i need to text them and then refocus on the work on hand. during a break, i’ll text them. or sometimes i just forget all about it and it’s fine.

texting people in bursts prevents the slow, constant trickle of picking up my phone every 2-3 minutes which is a prime destroyer of focus.

  1. keep my phone in greyscale whenever i’m not taking, editing, posting, or sending photos. i added the ‘color filters’ settings option to my home button triple-click menu and now i can turn my phone to greyscale or color in about 1 seconds. game changer. directions for how to do this here.

  2. turn off almost all alerts and notification markers. i have almost all push notifications off and i have most of the red alerts on app icons off. the critical ones to have off for me are messages, facebook, and twitter. this means i only go check those apps when i feel like i need to. for a while, i was still checking my texts incessantly, but it has slowed down over the months and now i check about every 25 mins. which sounds crazy when i type it, but it’s way less than some other people.

words / writing / post-processing
383w / 12min / 5min