If you’re trying to spend less time in the new year buried in your phone, but going cold turkey and leaving your smartphone in a drawer isn’t an option, here’s a computer science professor’s practical compromise.
Cal Newport is a professor at Georgetown University and author of The New York Times bestseller Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. In a recent post on his personal blog, he shared the simple but effective advice he gave his students based on his experience minimizing his smartphone use:
Use your smartphone only for the following activities: calls, text messages, maps, and audio (songs/podcasts/books).
That might seem simplistic, but what it does is push all the timewasting and unproductive stuff from your phone to your computer. If you really want to catch up on what people are doing on Facebook, browse photos on Instagram, or shop on Amazon, you can’t just pull out your phone and mindlessly scroll through your app of choice looking for some entertainment—or the dopamine rush of getting a good deal on some product you probably don’t need to buy. Not that I’m speaking from experience there at all, mind you.