5 Tips to Organize Your Phone and Unhijack Your Mind
Your phone’s slick, minimalist shell betrays a cacophony of alerts from apps, notifications from non-humans, and icons your fingers barely intended to graze. Yet there you are, ten minutes later, not even using the toilet at that point.
Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google and founder of Time Well Spent, offers these 5 tips for re-organizing your phone to create a less distracting experience:
1) Turn off notifications from machines. Could you turn off almost all notifications on your device? That way, when your device buzzes, you know it’s because a real human wants your attention, not a dating app.
2) Set up custom notifications for individuals. You can set custom vibrations for different people on your contact list.
3) Only put tools on your home screen. Harris refers to the home screen as “the most important real estate in the attention economy.” As an exercise, he suggests wiping apps from your home screen, except for essential tools like maps, calendars, settings, and messages so that you’re not tempted to linger on your phone.
4) Scramble your apps regularly. When you’re in the habit of knowing where to find your apps, you’re going to end up in Buzzfeed purgatory more often. You can interrupt your habit-forming brain by shifting apps around, which forces you to make a more conscious choice before clicking through to the app.
5) Move all non-tool apps to a folder on your second screen. From there, you can use your phone’s search function to access email, for instance.