Two big life changes!

Issue #56

Happy New Year!

I’m not really one for new year resolutions. I’ve always thought that if there’s something in my life that needs changing, I should change it. Why wait for the change of a year?

That said, over the last few weeks, I have found myself thinking again about my use of my iPhone and social media.

Cal Newport’s book Deep Work that I've started this week prompted some of this. If we want to do deep work, we can’t spend our lives wallowing in the shallow lands of email, Facebook, WhatsApp, news, and the like.

Related to this, I’ve made two changes. And, on the one hand, they’re quite small changes. But in many ways, as any fellow smartphone addicts will know, these are big life changes!

First, pretty much all my notifications are now set to either off completely or to ‘deliver quietly.’ 

The latter means that they don’t buzz me and aren’t on my iPhone lock screen. They only appear when I make an intentional choice to look at them.

Second, I’ve made a decision to put my iPhone away at 6.30pm each evening. I allow myself one check later in the evening but other than that, the phone is well away from me. My aim, nine times out of ten, is to leave it untouched until the morning.

I am still wearing my Apple Watch. And select contacts are able to message me there. But the Apple Watch is otherwise solely providing me with the time and reminders.

It’s so easy to be checking my phone out of no other reason than habit. And it doesn’t feel like a healthy habit. I’ve only been doing this a few days but it’s already feeling like a great decision. I’ll keep you posted on progress!

Anyway, below is a short look at another great book I’ve just finished. And then there's some links to a few other articles that have been having an influence on me.



The secrets of successful groups

Why are some groups successful and others not? What are the ‘secrets’?

Read more

Other articles I’ve been reading this week…

  1. The act of drawing something has a “massive” benefit for memory compared with writing it down | Emma Young, The British Psychological Society

  2. How to configure your iPhone to work for you, not against you | Tony Stubblebine

  3. Are smartphones necessary anymore? | Cal Newport

  4. Why reading books should be your priority, according to science | Christina DesMarais, INC.

And a podcast episode I enjoyed…

  1. The psychology of tribalism, with Jonathan Haidt