I am a fan of note 9 stylus and apple pencil. It makes my life easier with getting notes on the go and creating eye catching diagrams. Sharing them is so easy because the notes are already in digital format. I do not lose the notes and no need to carry note books to meetings. I have everything with  me when I open my phone. 

But lately I’ve found out for creative long haul work, like writing a book, is better on real physical note books. Real pencils and pens are therapeutic tools in situations I need long time duration focus. It is obvious because when I am on real note books I keep my phone away. And that is a good thing because when working on phone, some notification pops out and even for a fleeting moment I will lose focus. Getting focus back is a strenuous activity. The more disturbances, the more it gets harder to come back to the work at hand. That is why we cannot get creative work in an office, because there is so much distractions going on. Our attention gets divided in to small time chunks. 

There are many bad people and bad situations I come across each day. 

It’s like I am about to get out of home to go to Colombo, to find out two dogs are barking at me at the gate. What are my options ? 

  1. Take cover, ignore the beasts, carry on with my journey
  2. Bark at them, may be bite at them.  (How dare you two !)

Most of the time I take option 1. It’s like 90% of the time. But there are 10% of those dogs who will not let me mind my business and don’t let me avoid them. Those are the battles I pick. 

Yet remember all dog barking seems to be falling to that 10%. It is not. My biggest challenge is to find that 10%. 90% of the time you get people who don’t trust you, belittle you, say and do back biting. I have found the elixir to let go of them 90%. That elixir is asking my self each time a dog barks ” Is this a battle worthy of my time?”

Done. 

If there are energy sapping people, avoid them, as much as you can. 

If there are events that deplete your time and energy reserves, avoid them.

If there are people mocking you on social media – mute them, unfollow them. Choose not to respond to them. The feed that you see in your phone, is visible to a very small section of the world. You are not the centre of attraction, thought it seems like that in your perception. There’s nothing greater than taking care of yourself.

Also choose not to harm others.

And once you have a better perspective and identified sources of good energy, remember to practice below.

“Choose not to be harmed – and you won’t be harmed. Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been”

~ Marcus Aurelius

 

tackle
Me vs Apps competing for attention : pic credit

 

I told you about my 24 hour digital detox. And I promised I will explain how I block specific apps on my phone. The app I use to block apps (Cliched!) is “Appblock“.

Previously I used to uninstall facebook and twitter on phone and then reinstall. It is painful not just because of the reinstalling process, but I have to manually do the setting changes for like: disable video auto play, data consumption setting , etc etc, on each of the apps. It was a mind bottle neck for my worthy pursuit of digital detox. A simple search on web, and I found App block. It is super easy. I can have many profiles. Ex: I can have a profile for FB and twitter and I can have profile that includes all social media + email + chat + you name any app.

Isn’t it cool? Once I’ve done with my profiles it’s a matter of clicking on them to activate app block. Also, I can lock a profile after its activated. If I want to unlock, I can’t do it, unless I connect my phone to a charger. Very cool. Lot of barriers before you can get back in. It makes me super focused. Have a look at this video.

 

I tried the free version and I was super happy, went on to purchase the premium version at LKR 675/- ( $4.5 roughly). There are many alternatives in the play store.

Block your apps away ! Have fun.