Get started with four simple changes.

 

Allow notifications from people, not machines

Our phone constantly vibrates with notifications that are invented to lure us back into apps we don't really need to be in.

Take control by turning off all notifications, except notifications of when real people want your attention (apps like Messages, WhatsApp, or FB Messenger). Visit Settings > Notifications.

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Create a tools-only home screen

Seeing all those colorful app icons at once when we unlock our phone drives us to tap even when we have no conscious desire to go there.

Instead, keep your home screen to the 4-6 "tool apps" you use for quick in-and-out tasks – like Maps, Camera, Calendar, Notes or Uber. Move the rest of your apps off the first page and into folders and launch them by typing.

Launch apps by typing

Swipe down to reveal spotlight search and start typing the name of the app you're looking for.

This turns opening apps into a more conscious choice. There is just enough effort to pause and ask, “do I really want to do this?”

 iOS Specific: add the recommendation to turn off Siri Suggestions (Settings > General > Spotlight Search > Toggle Siri Suggestions to off)

 

Charge your device outside the bedroom

Get a separate alarm clock and leave your phone outside or across the room to charge. This way you can wake up without spending too much time on your phone without getting out of bed.

 

Download apps and extensions that can help us live without distraction.

 

Better Sleep:

Flux (Mac OS X and Windows)

Reclaim 15 mins of quality sleep by cutting blue light from your screen.

Turn on NightShift (iOS)

Blue light from screens late at night tricks our body into believing it's still daytime, which disrupts our natural ability to sleep.

Stay Focused:

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AdBlock Plus (Chrome, Safari)

reclaim 30-40% of your attention for every article you read.
 

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InboxWhenReady (Gmail)

Focus your inbox by only showing your messages when you click "Show Inbox." Instead getting distracted as new email comes arrives in the background.

Reflect on time spent:

Moment (iOS)

See how much time you spend on your phone.
 

RescueTime (Mac OS X, Windows)

See how much time you spend on different apps on your desktop along with various websites.

 

Respond Quickly:

Gboard

50% faster "swipe" typing than regular keyboards so you can respond to a message and get off your device more quickly.

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Send audio messages

Instead of exchanging brief texts when someone asks a big question, reply with an audio message. It's faster than typing and often lets you send a more authentic message.

Less Email:

Enable "Send + Archive"

Gmail only. This archives the email right after you send it. The email will reappear in the inbox when the person replies.