Why I Keep Distracting Apps On My Phone
The productivity advice I want to put out online is simple – It’s that it’s okay to be human. No one is perfect. And I feel that most productivity advice online makes normal people feel guilty. There are ton and tons of articles and videos online that are honestly extremely similar. We’ve seen them all. Stuff like, you should have a strict morning routine, turn your phone off, delete social media apps or get off social media, and do nothing but “deep work”.
This is honestly great advice if you’re not a normal person. But not everyone has a virtual assistant. Not everyone is able to do “deep work” while their significant other watches their children 24/7. Some of us aren’t able to have set schedules. And let’s be real, normal people don’t want to delete distracting apps off of their phone or even get off social media.
Don’t let the typical productivity advice out there make you feel guilty for being a normal human being. I will say however, keeping distracting apps on your phone does require some discipline.
Either way, I wanted to share my thoughts on why you shouldn’t feel guilty and how I approach distractions on my phone.
1) My Laptop Is My Main Way To Get Work Done
Being that I’m a photographer and have to edit photos and what not, my laptop is the main way I get work done. iPads and apps are getting better at being able to make them the sole way to get most work done these days, but for me, I can’t imagine editing photos on an iPad. I’m way more productive doing most things on a laptop. I’m faster and more efficient.
Why do I bring this up?
Well, it’s because most productivity advice out there says to delete social media and other distracting apps off your phone. The idea is that you can always go onto your computer to access these apps and services.
Because I make my laptop my main source of getting work done, I do not want to check distracting things on it. I know that I will create a habit of distracting myself if I do. I would rather create a habit of only using my laptop as a means of doing work I want to do.
This does mean that you need to have the discipline of not checking your phone constantly though. Maybe keeping it in another room and/or bring strategic about how your phone gives you notifications for certain apps.
2) I’m An Introvert
Being that I’m an introvert, I don’t like most social situations. Even family gatherings. I know, I know. That probably makes me a terrible person, but most social gatherings drain my mental and physical energy. So for me, these times are perfect for me to pull out my phone and scroll through my distracting apps.
For the most part, my main distracting apps are Instagram and reading articles I’ve saved to Pocket. I hate being on Facebook, but I also use that time to check my Facebook groups and respond to people. However, even my Facebook is strategic. I’ve unfollowed most friends and Facebook groups. This keeps my newsfeed boring.
Now, I don’t just totally ignore people in social situations completely, but let’s be real, we all do this. You might even be reading this on your phone now in front of friends or family. The point is, this works for me. I absolutely don’t feel guilty about this. The only time I do is when I’m with my son or my wife. This leads me to my last point.
3) It Forces Me To Be Intentional
Keeping these hard lines or boundaries, allows me to be intentional. I want to know that being on my laptop means it’s time to get work done. Being on my phone means, I can also get some work done, but I can also be a normal human being an enjoy my guilty pleasures like Instagram. And if I want to decompress at night while in bed, I can do so too.
I understand that this does not work for everyone. I have friends that totally get distracted by their phone. Some of my friends have even got off social media for a while because they know how addicted they get to their phone.
For me, I view my phone mostly a tool. It’s a utility for me. But it’s also a fun thing for me to enjoy and appreciate. I can use it to get work done, communicate with people I love, or just enjoy some guilty pleasures.
Don’t let productivity “gurus” make you feel guilty. Be a normal human being. Be intentional so that you can enjoy life.