A week ago I deleted all the game apps from my phone.
Whenever I pick up my phone, I first look at notifications, check my emails and Facebook to see what's up, maybe reply to a tweet. Then I start trolling my own phone…what can I get into to entertain and distract myself? Maybe I browse some Facebook Groups but more often than not, I play games. I love the social aspect of games like Trivia Crack and Candy Crush Soda Saga Whatever Edition – I get to “play” with my friends, no matter the time of day or night, no matter where they live. But I found myself playing games while watching TV. I found myself playing games when I could be working. I found myself playing mindless games when I could be learning or challenging myself to grow. I wasn't addicted to games. I just gave them too much of my time. I realized I didn't need to give them any of my time, really.
We all ave a limited amount of time on earth. It's something nobody wants to think about but it is real. Right now, I am 37. If I am lucky, this means I'm halfway through my life. It's half over!!! I feel like I just STARTED! My grandma died when she was in her sixties. My other grandma died in her seventies. My great grandma lived to 102 years old… one can only hope that means I am only one-third into this life! But the reality is, I got more of those cruddy genes from the grandmas who died younger than from the 102 year old great grandmother. If things are half over, I don't have any time to waste!
The point is, life is short. Games are FUN. So much fun! But for me, they proved to be a distraction. So I deleted the Games folder off my home screen on my phone. I deleted ALL of the game apps off my phone. ALL of them. No more Boggle. No Trivia Crack. No solitaire. No Papa Pear Saga. No more Buttons and Scissors.
What happened next was eye-opening:
I now pick up my phone. I check my notifications, check my emails, see what's up on Facebook and tweet. I then check my business apps, like Buffer, to schedule anything that needs to be shared. I read articles in Zite that I can share on social media, that help me learn, and that challenge me to be a better person. I go over my notes in EverNote and clean up old ones, make new notes, and review my to do lists to see if there are things I can be doing now. I read books on the Kindle App. I'm 40% of the way through a 400 page book right now, “The Secret History”, by Donna Tarrt.
Deleting the games off my phone has helped me to focus on what's important.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day but some people seem to have magical powers to get more done. People are always telling me that I seem so “busy”. Well, what the else am I supposed to do with my time? I feel like I am not nearly as busy as the people who really inspire me to do more and be more. How does Kathy Cano-Murrillo fit everything in her day from writing to speaking at events to traveling to creating handmade art to sell to licensing her art? How does someone like Gary Vaynerchuk run this multi-media and marketing empire and still have time to interact with people? How is it that Beyonce seems to be everywhere, even in the hotel where I was just attending a conference last week (Beyonce was spotted at The Line Hotel by other attendees)?! They make the most of their time. I bet you won't see any of them playing Bejeweled Blitz.
Getting rid of the game apps means getting rid of the clutter so I can be more productive.
I found that I was much more productive and spent less time on my phone than before I deleted all the games from my phone. Here's what I see myself doing now:
- My Buffer posts are always updated.
- I answer email faster.
- I keep my email inbox cleaner.
- I answer Facebook messages faster.
- It's easier for me to put my phone down after I do the necessary business things, like check notifications and texts.
- I pay more attention to what's going on around me.
- I am more involved in the moment.
- I'm able to focus more on the things that need to be done – no more distracting game notifications
- My phone battery lasts longer … so I can do things like Instagram THIS photo of us and Matt Bomer!
We were at the Doctor yesterday and Matthew told me he was bored. We usually would let him play games on our phones or his tablet but I did not have any games for him to play. He looked through my phone and confirmed: no games. I was checking my email on my phone but then I stopped and we talked. We didn't talk about anything earth shattering. But in the past, we both would have had our faces glued to our phone screens while waiting anywhere.
My next hope is that this helps with my eye strain, which is from being on my phone, computer, and crafting, all of which take place 18″ from my face all day, making my eye muscles too tense to focus on anything further away. Yeah, it's a real thing – I have 20-20 vision but have to wear two sets of glasses because my eyes are so strained from what I do every day. Games certainly weren't helping this situation!
Here are some more great resources for improving productivity:
- Stop Productive Procrastination and other secrets to success
- Productivity Hacks
- Push: The Real Way to Set and Achieve Goals