I donated my phone to Silver Service Taxis and have never been happier.

A little over a month ago I left yet another perfectly good, brand new mobile phone on the back seat of a taxi.   (Unfortunately for me it was a taxi and not an Uber, where I would certainly have had it returned to me, but that’s a post for another day).

Normally when this happens I would drop into a mobile phone store the next day and grab the latest, greatest, gadget-iest phone and carry on with my day.  Only this time I didn’t do that.  This time I thought “I really don’t actually like having a phone and being one of those knobs who puts their phone on the table while eating with others, or walking around outdoors obnoxiously staring at their screen”.   This time I resisted the very faint urge to get a new gadget and simply went off to work without a phone.

It started off like one of my many tech experiments, with no real expectations, time frames or intended outcomes, I just wanted to see if I really did ‘need‘ a phone or if I owned one because it was unimaginable not to have one.

As days have turned into weeks and weeks into a month, I am here to tell you that I am a new person – and the new me most definitely does not need a mobile phone in my life.   Here are some of the things I have observed:

  • All of a sudden I have loads of extra time on my hands.
  • I feel more relaxed when I wake up and I am sleeping like a baby at night (a nice, sleepy, newborn baby, not like my babies who are up and down all night).
  • I don’t feel anxious sitting on the ferry on the way to work, mentally processing the 50 emails I just read.
  • I have started reading books again – actual paper books!
  • I am thinking more creatively and my product and business ideas are flowing freely again.  In fact, I can barely keep up with all the new ideas I am having.
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’s amazing how many trivial items come to me in a day that I really don’t need to be thinking about.  Without a phone I am finding those things are evaporating and I am not thinking about unimportant things all the time.
  • My daughters have noticed that I am more available and they love it.  All of a sudden they have Dad’s undivided attention when I am at home.
  • I don’t read or think about social media at all.
  • People seem genuinely distressed for me when I explain to them that I do not have a phone.
  • There has not been one single moment where I have felt like I needed a phone.

“So how does a CEO, husband and father of two get by without a phone” I hear you ask?  Here are a couple of minor adjustments I have made:

  • I now plan ahead more and communicate my movements in advance.  I would never have done that previously but now, for example, in the morning I let my wife know what my plans are for the day and what time I will be home.
  • I read and action my emails for 10 minutes at my computer at home in the morning before I leave for work.  This is faster and more effective than doing it on the phone and I find myself being more organised for the day as a result.
  • I repeat this process one last time each night after the kids’ dinner and bedtime routines and just before I go to bed.  10 minutes is all I need to tie up any loose ends.
  • I bought myself a Surface Pro 4 so that when I am out of the office with work I can be as productive as possible.  This is not entirely related to not having a phone, but the Surface is the perfect portable work device that would get me out of a sticky situation if I found myself in one (I can’t imagine said situation but hey, I have a plan should it arise).

From where I sit today, I really cannot see myself getting another mobile phone.  I will keep buying any cool productivity gadgets that catch my eye of course, but I think my smart phone days are behind me.  I will let you know if that changes, and if so, what device was so compelling that I was willing to give up my new-found freedom for it.

 

no phone

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