Observation #10: iPhone Addict

What happens when my phone buzzes, when the notification appears, when it asks me to click or swipe or whatever? Yesterday morning, I turned off those notifications, kept my phone facedown, too. In the afternoon, I reversed the process as a sort of experiment. Buzz--my gaze shifts.

Notification--I read the banner on my phone scree, feel my energy shifting from my task.

Maybe my blood boils a little as I read about immigration. Maybe my heart quickens as I see an investment notification. Maybe I laugh at the text from a friend. Maybe this happens every ten minutes for an hour before I turn off my notifications again.

Observation: I'm no different from any other addict, sacrificing the enduring good for the temporary fix.

TODAY'S TIP: Work this same kind of experiment. Turn off notifications for an hour or two. Then turn them back on for an hour or two. What's different about those two blocks of time?

This week, I’m exploring some tips and tricks for limiting distraction, all in the form of these Observations. Follow along and practice with me? Invite a friend or two?

***PATRONAGE FOR OBSERVATIONS***

This observation is brought to you by my bi-monthly Patreon Community. Want to join in the fun? JOIN ME in the lab, the fun factory, the place I try out new things to see if they'll stick. (Ahem... my Patreon community.) For as little as $2 a month, you can get great content (and sweet rewards). And, if you enjoy this website and haven't yet signed up for the bi-monthly Tiny Letter newsletter, feel free to sign up below.

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Observation #9: Your Phone, Your Drug

Yesterday I caught a little well-played flack for personifying distraction as a mistress. Always the female form, the commenter said. Why is it so? I tried to explain it away, tried to show why I (a straight man with a healthy appreciation for said female  form) might personify distraction as a seductress. Were my context different, perhaps I would have named it a Seductor, but I am what I am, and I wrote what I wrote, and the comment was well played.

What is distraction, then? Maybe a drug?

While working this morning, my phone buzzed. I looked at the notification, "Your Morning Briefing" from the New York Times. It read: "A return to 'catch and release,' what watch for in today's primaries, Atlantic Cities big bet." It was a well designed notification, offering three tantalizing stories, each intriguing (and perhaps built from my very algorithms). I could have clicked. I could have read. I could have reached for another fix, and boy did I want to. Instead, I returned my phone to the side table, turned off notifications, and prayed.

Make me more than a hound dog. Keep me free from chasing all the rabbits. 

TODAY'S TIP: Turn notifications off of your phone today. At the end of the day ask yourself--How do I feel?

This week, I’m exploring some tips and tricks for limiting distraction, all in the form of these Observations. Follow along and practice with me? Invite a friend or two?

 

***PATRONAGE FOR OBSERVATIONS***

This observation is brought to you by my bi-monthly Patreon Community. Want to join in the fun? JOIN ME in the lab, the fun factory, the place I try out new things to see if they'll stick. (Ahem... my Patreon community.) For as little as $2 a month, you can get great content (and sweet rewards). And, if you enjoy this website and haven't yet signed up for the bi-monthly Tiny Letter newsletter, feel free to sign up below.

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Observation #8: Distraction is Your Mistress

Distraction is a sneaky seductress. She waits in the quiet hours--the hours of meditation, the hours dedicated to work, the hours just before sleep. She comes calling through the screen, notifies me of some Twitter thread or Facebook comment or CNN breaking news alert that I must check. And like any good seductress, Distraction divides me. She pulls me from what’s real—connection, creation, healthy productivity—and offers me digital candy. It tastes good in the moment, but what’s it worth, really?

TODAY'S TIP: For at least two hours, avoid checking your phone. Put it facedown on the desk. Turn off the notifications. At the end of that two hours ask yourself--How do I feel?

This week, I’m exploring some tips and tricks for limiting distraction, all in the form of these Observations. Follow along and practice with me? Invite a friend or two?

***PATRONAGE FOR OBSERVATIONS***

This observation is brought to you by my bi-monthly Patreon Community. Want to join in the fun? JOIN ME in the lab, the fun factory, the place I try out new things to see if they'll stick. (Ahem... my Patreon community.) For as little as $2 a month, you can get great content (and sweet rewards). And, if you enjoy this website and haven't yet signed up for the bi-monthly Tiny Letter newsletter, feel free to sign up below.

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Observation #7: The Pier-to-Pier Interaction

Crossing the river, I watched two barges passing each other. I imagined the captains (do barges have captains?) waving at each other, imagined them lashing the barges together, spending an afternoon on the deck chatting about family and sharing a cup of joe. Were my imagination to become reality, I wondered, would this be a peer-to-peer and pier-to-pier interaction?

***PATRONAGE FOR OBSERVATIONS***

This observation is brought to you by my bi-monthly Patreon Community. Want to join in the fun? JOIN ME in the lab, the fun factory, the place I try out new things to see if they'll stick. (Ahem... my Patreon community.) For as little as $2 a month, you can get great content (and sweet rewards). And, if you enjoy this website and haven't yet signed up for the bi-monthly Tiny Letter newsletter, feel free to sign up below.

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Observation #6: Undoing the Undoable Knots

If there's one thing we want--all of us--it's that our undoable knots would be undone. My friends at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico reminded me of this yesterday.

We drove south through the Rockies, crossed the New Mexico border, and pulled into #SantaFe. We went straight to the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, and walked the grounds. Behind the Cathedral was this stunning statue, a beautiful depiction of Mary Undoer of Knots.

For those of you scratching your head and asking who is this Mary and what knots she’s undone, consider this (from the Catholic Herald):

“St. Irenaeus of Lyons was the first to describe the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Untier of Knots in his Adversus haereses (‘Against Heresies.’) The saint creates an analogy between Eve and the Virgin Mary, describing how ‘the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the Virgin Mary set free through faith.’”

And for the skeptics in the room, it’s worth mentioning that Irenaeus was the student of Polycarp, who learned the good news from St. John. #photography #travel #catholic #cathedral

A post shared by Seth Haines (@sethhaines) on

***PATRONAGE FOR OBSERVATIONS***

This observation is brought to you by my bi-monthly Patreon Community. Want to join in the fun? JOIN ME in the lab, the fun factory, the place I try out new things to see if they'll stick. (Ahem... my Patreon community.) For as little as $2 a month, you can get great content (and sweet rewards). And, if you enjoy this website and haven't yet signed up for the bi-monthly Tiny Letter newsletter, feel free to sign up below.

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