Whether you believe that technology distracts, detracts or solves challenges around a poor attention span, in this week’s blog, we dive into ways that technology can help support us to be better tethered to focus.
According to research from RescueTime, one of several apps for iOS and Android created to monitor phone use, people generally spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of 4.5hours. Which might be fine for you until you realise that this is about 49 days out of a year.
There is no question that in many cases technology has vastly improved our lives, connecting us to marketplaces across the world and resources that in an industrial age was typically only ever available to the privileged few.
Aside from going cold turkey from our devices here are some things we’ve learnt along the way.
1. Turn off your notifications.
This is about taking back your autonomy around when YOU decide to use your different applications and programs, instead of push notifications set strict times in your day when you check your emails/apps.
*Protip, add a line in your email signature informing your contacts in email replies when you check your emails and when you reply to your emails, creating healthy boundaries with your clients and your tech at the same time.
2. Hide your time thief.
Remove all social media apps (and those sneaky game apps, I SEE YOU Candy Crush addicts) from your home screen and put them into a folder.
This means each time you go to access these apps you have to click at least three times before you get to the app, giving you some space to pause and reconsider if this is a good use of your time.
3. Use an app to block an app.
There are a number of apps on the market now to solve the challenges around being distracted.
Offtime (iOS, Android) You can choose tailored modes like Work, Family, or Me Time to ensure that you have access to the things you need but aren’t distracted by what you don’t.
BreakFree (iOS, Android) incorporates the usage tracking features found in similar apps, however it breaks down the information into an easy-to-understand “addiction score.” It also shows you how often you unlock your phone screen, and comprehensively logs your usage for the day.
Flipd (iOS, Android) is when you need a more aggressive approach to being unplugged. Flipd allows you to lock your phone for a set period of time, and once you do, there’s NO going back. Restarting your phone won’t disable this app. Flipd can even be used to remotely “flip off” one user from another user’s device, which is helpful for teams (or even partners) who want to help keep focus and accountable.
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