Today the conversation we are going to have is about mobiles phones.
Are you a slave to your phone? No? Screw you. You are. Serving it at its every whim. Hell, your the kind of person who has “a notification a day keeps the boredom away” tatooed on your forehead. I joke. But seriously. Get it removed.
Even if your not a world renowned YouTube blogger or a high flying networking god you’ll be prompted by 2-500 notifications a day across all your applications. You may be smart enough to have already researched the downsides of having notifications being pushed at you throughout your waking hours of the day and in this case, only part of this article is for you. Skip to the Super User section below. For the rest of you lovely lot… keep reading.
To begin with stating the obvious the mobile phone manufacturer programming and its applications work in such a way that they prompt you with information hacking the human habit cycle:
Whether that is application updates, messenger notifications or replies to your latest social media campaign, when the designers have programmed it to notify you, it does. Sometimes delightfully with a coloured light. Great. So why is this remotely important? Well, take a moment to think throughout your day, how frequently do you automatically open up your phone after seeing a notification pushed to you, and what is your consequent response?
Hazard a guess. Your response is probably something along the lines of: “Oh a notification”. Unlock phone. Open application. Check notification. Close phone. With the majority of notifications exciting you upon arrival, but regrettably being boring upon opening its contents because it is deemed irrelevant and not worth a response. You have become an enslaved rejection machine. Cycling through each time checking to see if it is interesting or not. Rarely getting a notable reward.
Musing: The human mind works in an interesting way that according to what we are searching for in our daily lives, its amplified and in an opposite way the things we are not interested in are faded out or instantly disregarded. For example, your watching your favourite show, spokesperson or are at the gym pumping iron in the iron paradise. Your focused on the words of show, the words of the speaker or the workout you are progressing with. A house member walks in the room, a person walks in the front door of the function room, a stranger walks into the iron paradise. You instantly become aware of this presence, but the majority of times, they are completely irrelevant of the goal of the moment and you disregard them. It takes literally a microsecond. Change the interruption to Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, and suddenly they become extremely relevant. You are instantly attracted to wanting to interact with this world renowned celebrity. Attraction in real life works similarly, you know when you walk down the street who you are sexually attracted and who you aren’t. Playing a game of instant dismissal on the most part. And let’s be honest, in this day and age the majority of people understand this and play a game of instant dismissal anyway, rejecting their inner feelings whether the target is attractive or not. Phones however, are an inanimate object and therefore become immune to this ruling of rejection. Or so it thinks.
Welcome to the Superuser Strategy.
Take the Red pill or the Blue pill. The Blue pill = Nothing. The Red pill = Employ super user strategy and regain control of your attention.
It’s going to feel a bit like your giving up delicious sweet sugar. Nearly impossible at first. With your mind saying to yourself i want my dopamine back. Why? Your going to turn off all your automatic notifications that you used to get excited by (apart from phone calls) and start viewing at a time of your choosing. What i mean by that is for example instead of consuming tiny pieces of information all day, you do a 7pm round up of all your media all at once. You respond to all your inbound messages like a professional with care and due attention. You post and check your s.m. strategically. You effectively become a super user of the most powerful tool we all have at our expense.
Step 1: Open up every application sequentially which have push notifications; your Facebooks, your Twitters, your Snapchats, i mean everything and go to the settings section and manually opt-out of push notifications. What this effectively does is give you a new power over your consumption.
Step 2: What to do with that new power? Choose a time(s) of day that you will consume this content and information and stick to it.
The reason this strategy works is because each application is built for a certain purpose, which is to grab your attention and give you a reward. On the most part the more you mindlessly consume information on this application the more marketing dollars the business owner gets through various advertising strategies. Thus it is in their interest to program you to constantly consume information through this medium and also why it is in your interest to not; because your not consuming irrelevant content anymore and getting distracted all the time.
But what if i miss out on important things? Surprisingly you won’t. When someone actually needs something immediately they will ring you. Answer your phone when its appropriate. Reply to your answer phone messages periodically. Pretty simple really.
Where to go next?
Create your own push notification strategy using programs like Evernote or Keep with lists of goals, images (be creative), etc, featured on numerous notes to remind of what you SHOULD be focusing on. Add in a period of how frequently these reminders should be cycled; in the case of the example goal list below, a reminder is programmed for 8am Every Sunday. Then all you have to do is execute. Keep a list of why you keep avoiding certain things and solve them.
- Epsom Salt Bath
- Clean car inside and out
- Gym Workout
- Prep meals for Mon-Wed evening
- Wash the dog
- Do something fun 1
- Do something fun 2
- Do something fun 3
Hope this helps.
I am an amateur blogger whose striving to become a better writer as well someone who wants to upload some of my daily conscience to the internet in the hope that others can benefit. I welcome feedback on where i could improve.