What I have Learned By Not Having Complete Access To My Phone

clarity Feb 07, 2020
 

We all have a computer in our pockets. That computer is called a cell phone. The cell phone revolutionized communication.  If you use it in the right way, you can increase productivity and even make money.  It also allows people to be mobile and free.  On the flip side, it has become one of the most distracting elements in our lives.  According to 60 Minutes, app developers employ the same technology to keep us using our phones as slot machine manufacturers. They are incentivized to keep us on our phones.

I have a unique relationship with my phone. My physical challenges prevent me from interacting with my phone like others. Most things in my life are more challenging for me, and using the phone is amongst the laundry list of challenging activities in my life. Besides the effort it takes to use my phone, I’m very limited on the tasks I can perform. I can make phone calls. I can skim text and emails. I can also check sports’ scores. Beyond that, I cannot do much.  I can respond to texts with an emoji, but, oftentimes, it’s the wrong one. I can respond to texts with a one-word answer, but that usually takes 90 seconds. Needless to say, I only use my phone when absolutely necessary.

I watch people get bored within two seconds and quickly suffocate their boredom by picking up their phone and doing who knows what. Whether that be checking social media, playing a mindless game, or checking the goings on of their favorite celebrity. Many of my ideas have been in moments when I had to be alone with my thoughts. This has given me time to think about life and has kept me in touch with my dreams, my desires, and just me. As a guy who grew up in the ‘80s, we learned to survive boredom. Whether that was going to a party without any other kids or being in the car for hours without anything to do.

Part of any journey is stopping and just thinking about life. It’s also being present in the moment. I love connecting with people. There have been times when I have gone up to a random stranger and had a conversation or just enjoyed the beauty of this world. I was not tempted by the distractions of technology.

 One of the strategies and paths to success is meditation and the connection with your surroundings. A simple way to accomplish these goals is by putting down the phone and just… thinking.  What a concept.

 I am not anti-technology. I am a tech geek. I can send text messages through my MacBook. My business is made possible by the internet. When used appropriately, texts and email can be much more efficient than anything else.

 Although the cell phone can be used for connecting, productivity, or freedom, it can also be a device to become disconnected, and it can alter the value system.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your phone:

  1. Understand that the phone can be a powerful tool to improve your life. You can listen to podcasts, audio books, or even download a meditation app.
  2. Set your own rules. If you need it for work, set rules for yourself. You might decide that you won’t get into a text argument while you are at work or no social media at work. Set parameters about how and when to use your phone.
  3. In the book, The Charge, Brendon Burchard states to set three reminders a day asking where do I need to focus my attention.
  4. Make your phone less of a distraction. You can disable notifications. You might try moving games into a folder or deleting them all together.
  5. Don’t be over accessible. You are not on call to everyone 24 hours a day.

 

Summary:

Technology, especially cell phones, can be distracting to our productivity. However, if you use technology wisely, it can enhance how you go about achieving amazing success.

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