I tried giving up my phone, but I wasn’t making it easy on myself.
I’m giving up my phone this week because after reading the story about the Rich Man in the Bible, I realized that of all the things I have an attachment to in this world, the phone is probably the most difficult to give up.
To be honest, I wasn’t very tempted. I didn’t miss the phone as much as I thought I would. I had plenty to focus on throughout the first day I tried to give it up.
The challenge was the phone itself.
I had a dozen or so apps with notifications turned on and I didn’t realize it.
CNN, ESPN, Periscope, a couple of random games. They all wanted me to stop what I was doing–no matter how important it was–and pay attention to them.
It made me think of the dog in the Pixar movie Up.
Doug, the talking dog, would be in mid-conversation when all of the sudden he would turn and say “Squirrel!” thinking that a squirrel was nearby.
Dogs are easily distracted and the movie pokes fun at their desire to constantly chase squirrels.
Since seeing the movie, my wife and I have been saying “Squirrel!” every time one of our kids gets distracted (or even when we get distracted!).
Here’s a video clip:
Back to the phone.
It’s time to go into De-squirrel Mode.
You can find a lot of peace when your life is devoid of distractions. That is one of the reasons why I decided to cut back on my use of my iPhone.
So, I turned off all of the notifications on my phone other than actual phone calls, text messages, and calendar alerts (I don’t want to be late for any meetings).
It is amazing how much more clear my mind has been.
When you have notifications set to turn on, whether it is your phone or computer or any device, you are setting yourself up for constant distraction and information overload.
Do I really need real-time updates on the news? I can always read the highlights in the Daily Skimm the next day.
Do I really need an up to the minute notification every time ESPN wants to share random, unimportant news about LeBron James or Johnny Manziel? Why not check those things out on my own time or just wait for some friends to talk about it an update me.
We all have too many squirrels in our lives and probably don’t realize it. I’m as guilty as anyone.
Try this: Go into De-Squirrel Mode
If you’re like me, then you need to go into De-Squirrel Mode every once in awhile.
What are your biggest distractions? What is pulling you away from the moment?
The number #1 squirrel?
I just saw a new email pop up in my inbox. Guess what? I’ve got a new notification to adjust.
Time to go back into De-squirrel Mode.