LIVE BETTER

In the long term, we want a better ecosystem of apps built with our best interests in mind. But in the short-term, there are things we can do to have more control over our devices.

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1. turn off notifications

In the fight to get our attention, apps and websites do everything they can to get us coming back to spend more time. In fact, technology companies literally have teams of people, called Growth Hackers, whose job is to algorithmically invent new reasons (notifications) to bring people back.

This leaves us inundated with notifications, and waking up to screens that look like this.

Go to Settings > Notifications to turn off notifications for everything except when people want to reach you.

 

2. TOOLS-ONLY HOME SCREEN

Tired of accidentally opening apps and getting sucked in?

Limit your home screen to "Tool" apps built for end-to-end tasks, but never leak into distractions (e.g. Camera, Notes, Calendar, Maps or Uber – but not E-Mail).

Put the rest of your apps into folders on the second page and only launch them by typing. Typing is a consciousness filter that only accepts conscious uses, and pauses us before unconscious uses. 

3. RECHARGE away from the bed

80% of smartphone owners report checking their phone first thing in the morning. And many of us don’t feel great about that. 

Instead, charge your phone away from your bedside.

While setting an alarm without unlocking your phone (tip #3) is helpful, it’s even better to use a separate alarm clock.

The best solution is to charge our phones outside the bedroom, and use a separate alarm clock as our daily alarm. You can buy many inexpensive options on Amazon, including a few under $10.

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Share these tips with a friend.

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