Wellbeing focused phone mods I made are going well

I’m always looking for ways to make gains in productivity and wellbeing. Some recent changes to how I use my phone have been beneficial. In this post I discuss the benefits of removing a couple of time sink apps from my phone. Reading time ~ 3 minutes.

A couple of weeks back, I invited readers to join me in deleting time sink apps off their phone.

For me that meant taking social media off (Twitter and Insta) and news apps (Google News).

To be clear, I still use social media when I am at my desktop working, but I don’t have access to it when away from my computer.

Have these small changes transformed my life? Am I a new person?

2 weeks into the experiment, I’d say these were good choices. Cautiously optimistic.

Here are some of the things I’ve noticed:

The muscle memory of reaching for my mobile to fire up those apps is only just weakening now. For the first week, I was constantly picking up my phone to scroll news/social media and then realising those apps weren’t available. That being said, I didn’t experience a craving to re-load them. It was a (somewhat disturbing) insight into how often I fired up my phone to look at, when I was away from my computer.

I don’t miss having those apps available. But I don’t have negative feelings towards them either. In fact, I have found it more enjoyable to fire up Twitter in the morning when I am on my computer and see what has been happening since I last looked. I am probably enjoying Twitter more now that I am using it less. I didn’t see that happening, but it is a pleasant finding.

Consuming less news has also been a good thing for me, but one that I expected would happen. I’ve been long aware that the more news I consume, the more distracted my mind is from the things that matter most to me. I have a mind that likes to churn away at things and if I feed it too many things, the churn gets a bit chaotic. Less news means I focus on the things I need and want to do.

Finally, I noticed that in the absence of using my phone for social media/news, I am more likely to use chat apps (e.g. Whatsapp, Skype), meaning I am connecting with my family, friends and colleagues more. As someone who has a tendency to neglect relationships, this is a good development. Something more social stepped in to fill the gap of something more solitary.

So I plan on sticking with these changes.

Have you made any life mods recently that were simple to do and yielded beneficial impacts?

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Gareth experiments on self

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