I love my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it and, yes, I feel a rush of excitement when I receive a message or notification. When it does not vibrate for at least 20 minutes, I find myself taking a sneaky look just to make sure everything is OK. Sound familiar?
To give you an idea, here is what a minute can look like on my phone:
Peta recently added to their stories.
Sarah started a live video. Watch it before it ends!
3 new emails received.
Jodi, we thought you might like to check out this new article…
Message from a friend.
By contrast, my husband hates notifications. Actually, he dislikes phones and social media full stop. He hates the sounds the phone makes, he hates that it distracts me, and he hates that it often interrupts our nights together.
WATCH: Life with or without your mobile phone. Post continues after…
And, so you can imagine his excitement when, on a recent trip to Sydney with Kate, I was introduced to a new concept: Turn. Off. Notifications.
At first, the thought sounded impossible. “Like, seriously? What do you mean, Kate? Turn off all my notifications? How the hell will I know when someone sends me a message or an email or likes an Insta story?”
And there it was. That’s when it became clear to me that my life really was defined by notifications.
So, after a long conversation, Kate convinced me to give it a go, or in the words of Elsa from Frozen to, ‘Let it go’! Without a second to reconsider, Kate grabbed my phone and started tapping away. She literally turned off every notification… Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, F45, Google, Mail, Slack, Trello and more. Everything EXCEPT my phone messages. And that was that! In the space of one minute, Kate had turned off everything and I had no way of knowing when new communications hit my phone.
That was two weeks ago and since then I have never felt better. I honestly can’t believe I did not do it sooner, and I feel ashamed that I was letting my phone take control of my life. I no longer know when emails hit my inbox, which means I am now more efficient and only check my phone inbox a few times a day. I no longer know when we gain new followers on Instagram, which means I am spending less time looking at our feed and more time working on content. I no longer know immediately when someone likes my LinkedIn article which, again, has helped me shift my mindset and attention for the better.
A Deloitte study from 2018 found that consumers look at their phones 52 times a day on average and growing. Do yourself a favour and go into your settings and tap on screen time. Have a look at how much time you are spending across the different channels and I bet that you will be shocked.
I am surprised by how much more free time I have back in my day now that I’m not constantly checking my phone; how much clearer my head is; how much I have stopped worrying about everyone else and started focusing more on myself and our business. Thanks Kate!
Jodi Geddes and Kate Pollard are the founders of Circle In, the fastest growing community for the modern working mama. Visit circlein.com.au for more advice, tips and stories on managing your career and motherhood.