Indistractable Chapter 18

Chapter 18, Hack Back Your Smartphone

I actually started many of the practices mentioned in this chapter, months ago. I didn't like the pull that the phone seemed to have on me. I decided to get rid of all games and other apps I didn't use. I then blocked every app except text messaging, work email, and phone calls from  notifying me. I also instituted grayscale and Do Not Disturb after 9pm until 6am, when I get up for work.

I used to think I needed to answer, or just immediately look at, each personal email I got. I tried the experiment to see how I got along for a week just checking email when I remembered it existed, and it turns out I'm not needing to look at personal email all that much.

I find more freedom not getting nearly as many notifications, and I'm working on not checking my phone often. As a person who is not in a medical field and would not be a good choice in a medical emergency, there aren't many instances when I would need to be called and I actually need to answer.

I even tried a weekend of no phone interaction at all, and I really enjoyed it. I might try it this weekend - assuming I don't feel awful for being socially isolated during this pandemic. I hope it allowed me to focus on things that aren't modern distraction technology - I'll read books and play piano and write letters.

Chapter Summary:

You can hack back external triggers on your smart phone using these four steps:

  1. Remove: Uninstall apps you no longer need
  2. Replace: Shift when and where you use potentially distracting apps, like social media and YouTube, to your desktop instead of on your phone. Get a wristwatch so you don't have to look at your phone to know the time.
  3. Rearrange: Move any apps that may trigger mindless checking from your phone's home screen.
  4. Reclaim: Change the notification settings for each app. Be very selective regarding which apps can send you sound and sight cue. Learn to use your phone's Do Not Disturb mode.
Here's today's epidemic count:


The big news is that Italy has surpassed China in number of deaths.

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