Last year I was one click away from a flip phone, or the Light phone. I ended up going a different route, one more seamless to my days while still taking steps toward my ultimate desire: a slower, fewer, fuller life. Internal and external.
For 9 months I’ve employed a few tactics that had me just recently saying, “I like my phone again.”
If you’re feeling both discouraged, weary or overwhelmed by your phone, maybe try these?
Change the home screen layouts. From left to right above, the first thing I see when I unlock my phone is the ESV Bible’s verse of the day. I scroll over and see the app I use for daily to-do’s, the day’s events, my “Jesus Most” folder, email, Marco Polo and WhatsApp. The third page is Dwell’s daily chapter and the rest of my apps in one folder.
That being said, put most, if not all, apps into one folder. This has been one of the best things. After a few months, I realized I only ever picked the apps on my main screen, and barely went to the others because I had to search for them. Maybe the searching took an extra 5 seconds, but it was enough of a gate I barely went through it.
Set a ‘Focus’ to the first and last hour of each day. It’s so easy to jumpstart into all the things when your phone is nearby. The focus feature makes it easy to have minutes, however many you want, where your phone won’t light up.
Whatever you can do on a desktop, do it there more often. We have an Apple laptop that is synced to my phone. It took me a few weeks of intentional shifts, but I check and answer majority of my emails and texts from the laptop, which helps batch them also, meaning I can respond to a few at one time instead of responding to each one every single time I see a notification.
They are simple, and maybe having a heart desperate for simplicity, peace and freedom helps a thousand M&M’s, but they are saving my mental capacity.
It’s like these simple tactics have put enough distance between ‘us’ that I most often am picking it up for things like jotting down thoughts and prayers into my Notes app or chat with friends (and the camera, naturally). Because I want to, not because I’m restless or expected to. And that’s super nifty.