In this magnificent era of mobile technology, it would be perfect if our technology was set up to assist us in making better use of our time; a tool that we control rather than the other way around (ie. becoming a digital zombie). Here are five methods to make your relationship with your iPhone more mindful:
1- Make a Minimalist Home Screen First:
When you unlock your iPhone, you’re faced with a barrage of messages, alerts, and notifications. Rather than being bombarded with notifications when you open your phone, why not create a clutter-free zone where you only see what you need? This can be accomplished by deftly structuring your home screen.
Sort your apps into three categories first:
- Aspirations – things you’d like to spend more time on (iBooks, Podcasts, Duolingo, Fitness Apps), and
- Bottomless Pits – any app that could unintentionally distract you and doesn’t have a definite function or beginning and finish (email, social media, etc).
- Tools (e.g., maps, calendar, Uber)
These categories can be organized in any way that suits you. One option is to keep only the most important apps on your home screen and create folders for the rest.
In my “anytime folder,” I keep my most useful programmes (ie. calendar, banking, Uber). Apps I’d like to use only three times a day went into the “three times a day” folder (ie. Facebook, Instagram). The “extras” folder was used to store a variety of programmes. After experimenting with this concept, I decided to leave my home screen blank. On the second page, I listed the apps that are required (weather, clock). The three folders were then placed on the third page. Overall, the goal is to have your belongings organised more purposefully so that you don’t experience “visual overload” when you pick up your phone.
2. Make the Control Center Work for You
We’ve all been there: we pick up our phone to do one quick thing, and then 45 minutes of aimless browsing and swiping pass us by. Open these apps without unlocking your phone to avoid cameras or alarm clocks becoming a source of wasted time. Simply swiping up to open the control center will suffice. It’ll be quicker to open apps this way, and you won’t have to deal with the distracting home screen.
3. Limit Notifications to Only People
Consider that for a moment. When someone needs to contact us, it makes sense to halt what you’re doing. But wouldn’t it be lovely if you could respond on your own terms to everything else?
You can set times to check email or social media, for example, and limit these periods to three times each day (or whatever number you deem reasonable). This one, I’m sure, will need some practice.
Now that we’ve covered some short fixes, let’s look at some longer-term solutions.
4. Get An App That Encourages You To Use Your Phone In a More Mindful Manner
Yes, there is a mobile app for that! You should definitely take a look at the Gadget Hack’s suggestions. Personally, I’m interested in trying out the “Forest” app and see how it encourages one to use a phone in a mindful manner.
5. Practice Meditation on Your Phone
Check out “The Best Meditation Apps of 2017” if you want to work on mindfulness (which has both mental and physical advantages). My personal favorite is Headspace, which is ideal for beginners to meditate.
6. Only Check Your Phone Three Times a Day
It’s difficult to resist the urge to check your phone every time you get a notice but consider how much time you waste on it every time it lights up. Do you have to pay attention to every “beep” straight away? Almost certainly not!
Limit your screen time by setting a daily limit on how many times you check your phone; start with 5 times per day and work your way down to just 3 times per day.
Overall, even a minor adjustment can help you use technology more successfully and meaningfully. If you’ve used any of these tactics, please let us know!