I’m trying an experiment. Phone-Free-Fifty. I’m a bit addicted to my phone and notice that I reach for it a LOT when I’m trying to do deep work (the work that’s hard and requires focus and concentration).
Setting Phone-Free-Fifty up is easy. I just set my timer for 50 minutes and hide my phone in my bag and hide my bag in the cupboard. That way I can hear the alarm but not absent-mindedly reach for my phone up during deep work lock down.
Doing Phone-Free-Fifty is hard! I’ve noticed how often I search for a distraction (phone) when the work I’m doing hurts my brain.
But it’s good training!
I heard someone explain that when we keep switching to the “novel” (quick check of Insta, etc) we actually weaken our ability to focus. It’s like “focus” is a muscle and the less we use it the weaker it gets*
So Phone-Free-Fifty works in two ways: it creates a focussed fifty minutes for deep work, plus it exercises our “focus muscle”
You can do Phone-Free-Any-Number-Of-Minutes, but I need a break every fifty minutes no matter what I’m doing, so 50 minutes suits me. Plus Phone-Free-Fifty had a nice ring to it. Hehe.
*Apparently flicking through Facebook while waiting in the aisle of the supermarket also weakens our “focus muscle”, so if you want to get really good at focussing practise not doing that too!