1. Accept notifications from people, not machines.

Our phones constantly vibrate with notifications designed to lure us back into apps we don't really need to be in.

Take back control. Turn off all notifications except those from real people. (e.g. apps like Messages, WhatsApp, or FB Messenger). Visit Settings > Notifications.


2. Make your home screen "tools-only."

When we unlock our phones, we see a field of colorful icons begging us to tap them - even when we have no conscious desire to.

Try this instead. Limit your home screen to the 4-6 "tool" apps you use for quick, in-and-out tasks. (e.g. Maps, Camera, Calendar, Notes, or Uber.) Move the rest of your apps off the first page and put them into folders.

3. Launch apps by typing.

On iPhone, swipe down to reveal "spotlight" search and type the name of the app you're looking for.

This makes opening apps a more conscious choice: there's just enough effort required that it makes you pause and ask, “do I really want to do this?”

iOS-specific: Turn off Siri Suggestions (Settings > General > Spotlight Search > Toggle Siri Suggestions to off)

4. Charge your device outside the bedroom.

Get a separate alarm clock and charge your phone in another room (or on the other side of the room). This way, you can wake up without getting sucked into your phone before you even get 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.

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:


AdBlock Plus (Chrome, Safari)

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


InboxWhenReady (Gmail)

Focus your inbox by only showing messages when you click "Show Inbox" instead of getting distracted as new emails arrive.

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:


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


Send audio messages

Audio messages are faster than typing and let 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.