I am not the first one with this idea, but what will happen if you stop reading emails on the iPhone. The reality is that I prefer to process email on the iPad, but lately I have been noticed that I have so many read emails when I open email on the iPad, so I am reading, but I am no processing. I begin noticed that I am opening email on the iPhone looking for something, (don’t ask me what, because honestly I don’y know) and I am not processing emails.
I have write a lot about distraction, focus and concentration. I have joked for years that one of those things that I am really, really good, is that I can distract myself better than any one, I am really good at it.
When I make my iPad my main machine I did it looking for more focus and concentration as well as to be able to be more effective. I am even writing a book about living #iPadOnly with Michael Sliwinski that will be released soon.
I am not the first person that it is considering what their iPhones are doing on their pockets, Stephen Hackett try to get rid of his iPhone (regardless of the fact that he failed, the exercise was the important part), Jake Knapp, Robin Sloan, Peter Cohen, Michael De Groote among others are getting rid (or trying) or simply limiting the iPhone capabilities to keep the tool as a productive tool and not only as a simple distraction tool.
The reality is that if my iPhone stop being a productive tool or even worse it is a distraction tool; why I want to have it? I really don’t need to have a distraction on my pocket. That far I understood, but it wasn’t clear for me what was the precise problem until I read this post. Since then I have been thinking on this, and giving it an honest time to journal and think about it.
I have done many things in order to improve my Focus and Concentration, I begin my day at 4:00 A.M, I respect agreements, I have learn to say NO to myself with intention, I live a live with much less things, I have simplify many things, except my iPhone…
When you read Jake Knapp article at Medium there is a line that hit me really hard, he says he can’t handle “infinity in (his) pocket.” and if I am honest, me neither. I can handle infinity period. I work better on situations that I can be limited, it is in part why I love to work on my iPad, I remove the infinity power of the equation and leave the effective working only.
He also wrote: “I don’t have what you’d call the world’s greatest attention span,” and to be honest mine is also terrible. If mine will be great I would had not had spend years trying to discover focus and concentration. I really struggle with this and it is because of that, that I have found any and all different ways to prevent distractions so I can use my attention.
I am not saying I am getting rid of my iPhone, I am just going to stop checking emails on it. At least temporarily. The idea is to eliminate the distractions, the reality is that I prefer to process email on the iPad, so checking then on the iPhone the only thing that generates it is that sometimes I check email more than once (ok, more like one thousand but you got the idea). I wasn’t aware how many times I was doing this until I turn the email off on the iPhone and got this screen a lot.
My iPad it is with me most of the time, and I can tether to check emails there. If the iPad it is not there I should not be checking email, so I better do other stuff with the phone, or nothing at all. My main machine is an iPad.
The problem is that email give me a window of distraction bigger than what I can handle. It was interesting a soon as I turn the email on the iPhone I stop pulling my iPhone from my pocket. (ok it was like I got nervous and eventually stopped)
You may ask, what if you are traveling and need to check an email? I can always turn email ON again if I am out of about and need to access it for some reason. The goal is not to do it every second.
I got rid of my email on the MacBook years ago, when I adopt the iPad as my main machine because the iPad was a better processing experience. I may say that recently Mike Vardy ruined for me a little that experience when he bring to my attention that you can’t sort email to show the oldest first. (thanks Mike!) It’s been bothering me since he mentioned. I hope to find a solution for that or maybe I can add it to someone wish list for iOS7.
There had been less than 24 hours since I turn email on the iPhone, I have seen the configuration screen more times that what I am willing to admit, but I have not missed email on the iPhone for a second. Last night as I was out and about I want it to check for something, pull the iPad, connect it to the web tethering with my iPhone and checked that the email I was expecting had not arrived yet. It was at that moment that I noticed that if I would had email on my iPhone I would had most likely review thousand of times instead of one. So far, I call this a success.