Monthly challenges for 2020 haven’t been a total bust (like 2019), but they’ve not been super consistent. I’m picking it back up for October w/ a “Phone/Email Simplification” challenge. Here’s what that means:
Gmail is hidden on my phone. I’m a huge fan of email batching and do a pretty good job of batching while I’m at my desk. However, I’m constantly in email on my phone, which is a source of anxiety. I do still need to send scans and other files from my phone on occasion, so I didn’t remove email entirely, but I’m not allowing myself to check email from my phone. There is a caveat that I will unhide it while traveling. Working while traveling is highly efficient and enjoyable, so I’ll want the tool to do that.
Facebook is uninstalled from my phone. There are certainly things about Facebook that I enjoy, but there are also a lot of things that I don’t. One of the great things about Facebook is that our family can quickly share pics & what’s going on with us with loved ones. I’m keeping Instagram and just push anything on IG over to Facebook. One thing that I’m already missing is the ability to browse Marketplace from my phone. Marketplace rocks and I wish there was a standalone app for that.
What do I hope to gain from this?
Less anxiety, more sanity, and more efficiency. I know for a fact that batching email is highly efficient, and this will force me to batch. Right now, people correctly assume that I’m always connected to email. I know from past experience that this is an easy expectation to change. When I start answering emails in a more reliable, but somewhat slower pace, those expectations change and there is literally no lost efficiency on whatever project we’re working on. Text messaging is still there for emergencies.
How to measure this?
The easiest way to measure is through Android’s “Digital Wellbeing” app. The reporting isn’t great, but scanning through September, it looks like I was on my phone between 4-6 hours a day (which is nuts.) The measurable goal is to reduce the amount of time that I’m on my phone. The first 3 days w/o gmail & Facebook have put me in the ~2 hour/day range.
I’ll report back at the end of the month!