Do not disturb

You check your phone on two occasions: when it interrupts you, and when you manually check it yourself in hopes that the outside world has communicated with you. Let us say that the distribution between the two is equal, that you check your phone as much as it checks you. Is it a true statement then that the less time you spend on your phone, the more time you can allocate to being productive and healthy? I think so. So what if you were able to cut your phone usage by 50%? Imagine the sanity you’d gain back.

For the last two weeks, my phone has been on Do Not Disturb, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. My phone doesn’t dictate my actions now. Think of all your sparks of genius that a text message interrupted. Think of all the never-to-be-found-again moments of intense focus you’ve had that a phone call interrupted. The mental algorithm you were devising that spanned a mental flow tree spanning thousands of generations – destroyed by an urgent Snapchat.

Consider the following scenario: you’ve just found the solution to a bug that’s been nagging on you all day. You start implementing the solution like an excited school boy, anxious in anticipation of your work coming to life. Then, during your most intense moment of focus, hands rapping fervently on the keyboard, your phone begins to ring and vibrate obnoxiously. Someone just now decided that they need your attention.

I don’t need to describe this feeling to anyone.

You end up now treating the person you speak with poorly, anxious to hang up and get back to work. This, over time, eventually deteriorates the relationship you have with this person.

Now consider the alternative. The call comes, and you miss it ignorantly. It takes you a few more minutes to finish coding your masterful solution. Build, run…works! Oh the joy! You exhale with deep relief, and now reward yourself by taking a quick phone break. Oh look, missed call. You call back, and are now at ease and give the listener 100% of your glorious attention.

Try it. Turn on Do Not Disturb for a little while. You’ll miss a few phone calls. So what? It’s really not as bad as it sounds. It actually feels good.

To enable Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone, pull up the control center by swiping up from the bottom of your screen, and tap the moon icon. Welcome to freedom.

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