Lock My Phone Up For The Day?

It’s funny how asking the right question could transform my life so much. In my eternal quest to quieten my mind and live a more deliberate life, I asked myself: “What if I had to lock my phone in a drawer in the morning, and am only allowed to take it out at night? What would a day in my life look like?” I’ve been circling this territory for a while, trying to find peace by meditating, exercising, introspecting, reading improving books, and so on. And they’ve all helped, hugely! But this was a different approach. Instead of finding and exploring a ‘peacefulness’ hack, I was challenging a whole lifestyle.

I’ve been chained to my phone for three reasons. Productivity apps (to-lists and calendars to stay organised), WhatsApp (to stay connected to my friends), and YouTube/Movies (to veg out and stay entertained). And I’ve had credible arguments to justify using these. But with my phone in the drawer, I was at a ‘Now what?’ crossroads in my life. I had the same challenges, but my chief tool — the phone — was not in the fray anymore. What would I do?

I mourned. For longer than I’m proud to admit. But then I started problem-solving, and what I discovered has been changing my life.

To stay productive, I discovered Ryder Carroll’s ‘Bullet Journal’ method — which is a mix of a to-do list and a journal — which has helped me become so much more deliberate and reflective. To stay connected, I had to revamp the way I use WhatsApp (fewer messages, and not throughout the day), which funnily enough made me look forward to WhatsApp more. And finally, to stay entertained without Netflix, I started reading fiction again (I’ve always read/listened to non-fiction). And that simple act calmed my mind more than anything else.

I’ll explore each of these changes in my following posts, but what I’m logging here is the surprising power of a simple question. Here’s a thought: Think of a seemingly preposterous challenge and act as if you were going to do it. And rather than say, ‘I could never manage!’, try saying, ‘Okay, so here’s how I’ll do it: ….”

I’d love to hear how you end that sentence!