5 Things I Don’t Have on my Phone

1. Work Email

I love the freedom to leave work at work. It’s hard to do when you work in a service profession, with children you can’t help but worry about and care for 24/7.

I used to have access to my work email on my phone, but I found that I’d feel a rush of stress whenever I heard the “ping” of my iPhone. I decided to honor that rush of stress and build a personal barrier between home and work.

I can’t be reached between the hours of 7 PM and 8 AM.

Guess what…

Nothing really happens when I don’t look at my email.

Seriously. Most things can wait the 13 hours between the end of one work day and the start of the next.

Plus, I have way better things to do after work.

I occasionally check my email on weekends and vacations when I’m on my laptop or desktop. But that’s a decision. It’s more purposeful than having my phone ping in the middle of movie night or date night or an adorable dog training session.

By disconnecting you’re not just helping yourself be more balanced and happy, you’re helping your coworkers as well! You are part of the culture of your company. It may feel like you benefit from being constantly in touch, busy, and available to contact. You feel important when you have to send a quick email at home. Think about who you’re emailing.

When you send someone an after work email, you send them several messages:

  1. I’m available after work to respond to emails and do additional work
  2. I expect that you should be available after work too
  3. I think that my home life is less important than work
  4. I think that your home life is less important than work

These are not the messages you want to send to people.

So what do I do if I have a thought and I want to send a work email after hours?

  • Email myself from my home email so I remember my thought at work tomorrow
  • Draft the work email and either set a reminder to send it during work hours OR use the mail settings to send the email at a specific time

Try it out. Disconnect your work email for a night and let me know how it goes!

2. Facebook

I highly recommend removing Facebook from not only your phone, but your life.

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with facebook since college. When I first got an account in high school, I was excited to stay connected with my friends as we all started our college adventures.

At some point, soon after I first used Facebook, I became addicted to the feeling of being “important.” I’d care how many people liked my status or the photo I was in. I’d only know my best friend was really my best friend if she had me in her profile picture.

There was also a taste of jealousy. I’d look at friends photos and think about how they were so much more _____ than me (insert skinny, funny, popular, creative, smart, etc.).

I easily became obsessed with the high highs (100 likes for graduating high school!) and low lows (spending hours looking at other people’s perfect fall days while I had no plans).

Do you ever do that?

I made the decision in college to get rid of Facebook. I deleted it (you can really get rid of everything, which I highly recommend). It was gone for a while until I realized I’d be graduating and I’d like to stay in touch with people. So I got it back.

6 years later I’ve made a similar decision to once again get rid of Facebook. I got rid of it right before my wedding and I plan to never have a personal Facebook again.

Things I love about not having Facebook:

  • People who don’t know me don’t get to see what I’m doing with my life (unless they find this blog)
  • I don’t know what everyone else is up to, so I feel less pressure to “keep up”
  • People have to actually talk to me if they want me to know something. My friend just got engaged and he texted me to tell me about it.
  • I don’t find out sad news while I’m looking at my newsfeed. A college friend recently passed away and I got the news from another friend who had seen it on facebook. I much prefer someone to talk to about it than sitting alone, reading virtual wall graffiti that says “RIP NAME” and finding out someone you cared for died. How lonely is that?
  • I know who my real friends are. Let’s be serious for a second, pressing a button to like a post or wishing you a happy birthday on Facebook does not make someone your friend. Real friends put in the effort, make plans and keep them, think about you more than passively. It’s really nice to know exactly who those real friends are.

3. Instagram

I admit, I love instagram. It’s interesting and can be both personal and impersonal. You can see what people you know are doing or watch #drpimplepopper.

Instagram can be just as bad as Facebook. With added pressure from celebrity posts.

I’ll put it on my phone when I want to upload a cute photo, but then I take it off. It’s too much temptation to sit and compare! I don’t need a little tool for messing with my self-esteem in the palm of my hand!

4. Safari (sometimes)

Did you guys know you can do this?! I blocked the internet browser on my phone!It was a breath of fresh air!

Without facebook, instagram, and all sorts of other apps I still found myself poking around the internet.

Once I got rid of the internet? I had to get in touch with how awkward we’ve all become!

People don’t know how to hang out without their phones in front of their faces!

I zone into my phone and in no time at all… the night’s done and it’s time to go to bed. There goes all of that opportunity to spend time with the ones I love!

Here’s how you block Safari if you have an iphone (sorry guys- I don’t know how to do it on other phones):

  1. go to settings
  2. select general
  3. scroll down to restrictions
  4. select enable restrictions
  5. create a password- important to write this down, because if you forget this password you will have to factory reset your phone (like I had to when I forgot)
  6. right on top there’s Safari, toggle the switch to off.
  7. hit the general arrow on the top left of your screen
  8. Safari is now gone!

You can go back and undo what you’ve done by going into settings>general> restrictions and then entering your password and toggling the Safari switch back to “on.”

It’s great to be able to add safari back on every once in a while.

5. Notifications

I have turned off notifications on my phone for the majority of apps, except the classics: calling and texting. This way, I can have apps on my phone but I’m in charge of going to them. They can’t interrupt me when I’m in the middle of working on a boring task and pull my attention to a brighter, much more fun app! This helps me focus on what I want to accomplish.

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