Past few months, I am working on changing few things in my life. I thought it is good time to document them and see down the line how they worked out. Did I persist with them ? What I learnt from them ?
One I felt important to mention, is turning off notifications on my phone. It is the single influential change for me in recent times. I notice when I turned off notifications, I am picking up my phone less than what I am used to. I figured I pick when notifications pop up on news, stocks, Insta or a trending notification on Twitter.
More than Notification, the fact that when I pick up the phone, I dont stop there. I move on to browse in a random manner. It is a rabbit hole. It is never-ending casual browsing that is time-consuming and takes me away from my task. Moment I turned off the notifications, I ended up picking my phone with intention. With this intent based pickup, I think my phone need has reduced a lot.
I was not reading enough. I read career related, professional articles, blog or a book. But finding time is a problem with kids and works. I started try to read a page of a book everyday. I progressed to 20 pages per day. Pick any topic but reading was the idea. This got me to little of Economics, Physics, Crypto, Finance things.
Reading 20 pages a day, is about 30 books per year.
These I had no idea before but this Multi-Disciplinary skills sure helps and can connect dots. It helps to make improved decisions which Charlie Munger talks in 1995 and coined the term - Lollapalooza Effect.
I read about Lollapalooza Effect in recent time which states where multiple biases, tendencies or mental models acting in compound with each other at the same time in the same direction. Below summarizes biases and misjudgments in an excellent way.
Next thing that was on my list was social apps. I am a passive consumer of these social apps. I dont contribute and all social apps have one way or the other of short videos. YouTube calls it “Shorts” or Instagram calls it “Reels”. You can do shopping in YouTube shorts. This is to make sure consumer which is me, is getting engaged and keep swiping for long time. They are designed to be that way. Social apps are built to increase and retain engagement while you use the app. This falls back to the pattern I spoke, I keep swiping to lose focus on job at hand.
I started to track my phone usage. iPhone and Android phones have this screen time to track. I can see how I use individual apps and how much time. I can see what app I opened first on pickup. I noticed my usage went from 10 hrs to 6 hrs on average per week. I gained 4hrs on average per day ( a lot !! ). All I did to get this average is to uninstall social apps. Plus,I turned off notifications for low priority apps. This got the screen time down by another 30-45 mins mins on average.
Writing every week
I want to write every week about what I read or had a thought about. It may look like a simple one, but interesting thing is my simple post needs multiple drafts. It is difficult to write what you think. Writing is a process of organizing your thinking. Convey the idea in few possible words is what I am aiming for. I am 1% better than when I started.
I stopped picking up unknown phone numbers. I don’t know if this is worth the effort. I know it is risky as I might ignore at times an important call. I tried DND options from Federal Trade Commission but it is ineffective. I got 2
spam likely calls while I am writing this blog post. But I started to get people phone numbers if I am to expect a call. I have utilized filter calls feature built in to phones. This to scale back my phone pick ups.
I am reading on simple supplements like Vitamin-D, Baby Aspirin Dosage 81mg, Omega-3 Fatty Acids for age related disease prevention. I am NOT a doctor or any medical professional I am reading for knowledge, will share my findings in my blog.
I am poor at this. I know the benefits but my laziness kicks in and plays spoil sport. Simple walk of 15-20 mins has cleared up my mind than any amount of coffee. This aspect motivates me to do that everyday. Consistency is the key which I lack but something I will have to work on.
Hiding Email Ids.
Hide my Email feature in iPhone a lot. It lets you create unique, random email addresses to use with apps, websites, that way your personal email can stay private. Firefox Relay has this feature built in. DuckDuckGo Email Protection is another option to try out. This hidden email has made unsubscribing a breeze and it works. Plus your email cannot be traced to profile you, as you don’t use the same email in all places.
Using Temporary Email Ids
Hiding my emails are good when they are recurring. But if websites ask you to provide emails for one-time activities like downloading an e-book , hide my email is unnecessary. We should be able to have a temporary email address. This way we can prevent you email id being filled with spams and ads with tracking pixels or Spy Pixel.
One I am using in recent times is https://temp-mail.org/en/. This is a free service which is convenient and comes in handy.
Why this rants and fuss ? I realized phones, emails, social media started intruding my personal space with my support. I want to scale back and see how much time I can recover. This is considered an experiment. But what I do with the recovered time, is I can spend quality time with family, friends and learn new things.
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