I have had a love/hate relationship with my phone. The beeps, the notifications and don’t forget the storage reminders! This week our #PrincipalsinAction voxer group had a conversation about our phones and it got me thinking….
Do I spend more time on my iPhone than I do with my friends and family?
Over the past year I have tried to make conscious attempts to free myself from my phone and in turn have gained more time with others without distraction, worry or FOMO (fear of missing out) about that next tweet, text, email, like, share….well you get it.
Intrigued? Interested? Here are my two biggest tips:
In box zero and Declutter your phone
One of my go-to podcasts on In Box Zero is by Curt Rees
My big takeaways from this podcast:
- Don’t Browse It: set specific times to read/respond to email. I tend to set times like 7:30 am (when I arrive to work), 10 am and then again at 3 pm. Otherwise I leave it alone, don’t look at it, and focus on being in classrooms, being present in conversations or even playing out on the playground.**also if you are brave enough….take email OFF your phone** this step has helped me greatly in not “grazing” email throughout the day and evening.
- Try not to touch it twice: if you read it-respond to it-delegate it or delete it.
- Email is NOT your task list. Create systems or use email app’s like Polymail that helps you set up dates/times to respond to emails so they go out of your inbox and come back at a later date (thank you Principal Stager for this advice from #NPC17 this summer).
Still can’t believe this works-here is the proof:
This is what I see when I open my phone.
Last week the #DadsasPrincipals group offered a challenge: What is the 1st thing you see on your phone? Apps? Email? Clear your home screen & see a pic of you family.
Last summer I took part in the Note to Self’s podcast challenge of “Making Information Overload Disappear”. Day two was the Infomagical Phone challenge:
The instructions: Today, you will rearrange the apps on your phone. You do not necessarily need to delete anything. You just need to weigh the value of each one, delete the ones that you a) do not use or b) do not bring you joy. Pull all of your remaining apps into folders – ideally, just one folder. When you’ve finished, set your phone’s background wallpaper to an image that reminds you of your Infomagical week goal.
In the podcast they even interview Marie Kondo…you know…the author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” for her insight on the importance of how what your phone looks like impacts how you feel.
I still have a few notifications (mainly from a few apps I need to go back in and change) but for the most part my phone is clear of distraction and limits my abilities to graze through games, social media, or other time suckers in my day.
So what are you waiting for-trust me breaking up with your phone only hurts for a minute. The time you gain for yourself, your family and your friends is completely worth it!