Tidiness Coach works with you to calm home environments for maximum personal productivity.

Waiting in line? 6 fast changes to your phone that simplify life

Waiting in line? 6 fast changes to your phone that simplify life

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller

Photo credit: Samuel Zeller

My favorite konmari categories are the ones you can do while standing in line somewhere. You know ... sort of a life declutter. I do these a lot and most of them involve cleaning out the contents of my cell phone.

This past week, I took stock of all the ways my phone did not spark my joy. I know that things are not people but Marie Kondo's personification of objects in her best-selling "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" sometimes helps me make decisions.

If my mobile were a person, she would be someone who delights in interrupting me, both audibly and visually. LOUDLY. INSISTENTLY. All the time. Even when I am driving or having a conversation with someone face-to-face. Or the appetizer just arrived. Or the toddler just wants to keep playing peek-a-boo. Or.

Yes, I asked my phone-as-my-friend to remind me of things (and to keep reminding me of them) but here in the present moment, her enthusiasm for that task matched my insistence back then, a few days ago. Back then, I thought remembering that thing was the most important and vital thing that needed to get done. But ... right now, I am BUSY doing something else on the phone. Or not on the phone. Couldn't my phone-as-my-friend see that this present moment was more important?

So I changed my phone experience to spark more joy. These changes only take a few minutes and are the perfect way to feel productive while you wait for the next train, for the pharmacy to fill the RX or for that next bathroom stall to open up.

Here are the improvements I made to my iPhone, most of which are found in the Settings app:

1 - I took out all the pop-up banner notifications for all apps and texts. No more banners appear and block my view of what I am working on at that moment. (Check under Settings, then Notifications)

2 - I enlarged and boldfaced all the typefaces so that they are easy to read. (Settings, then Display & Brightness, then Text Size and Bold Text and View Zoomed)

3 - I took out all the custom ringtones and went with the “bamboo” sound and the vibrate function. I dialed down the volume too. Now my phone gives me a wiggle and a delicate sound to tell me something needs to be checked ... when I have a moment. I do not need to know who is calling me or what is alerting me. I just need to know that I need to check my phone later. In a few minutes, I will know the whos&whats&wheres and reply when my attention is singularly focused. (Settings, then Sounds & Haptics)

4 - I FINALLY set the notifications to stop whenever I am driving. This was long overdue. (Settings, then Do Not Disturb – scroll to the end of the options)

5 - I selected the setting that turns the screen amber at sunset and back to blue at sunrise so that my digital life is more sleep-friendly. (Settings, then Display & Brightness, then Nightshift)

6 - I set a consistent bedtime and wakeup alarm schedules, one for weekdays and one for weekends. (Clock, then Bedtime)

My phone now feels like it works for me instead of the other way around.

Photo credit: VBT

Photo credit: VBT

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