I had to face it. I got addicted — again.
I went from doing it a few times a day to doing it almost anytime I found myself between two tasks.
Once again, I had made myself a news-aholic.
Several times a day, I was doing the loop of my favorite news sites. I was scrolling to the end of my Google News feed and then refreshing it, hoping for a few new hits. First thing in the morning, last thing at night. I was even doing it between sets at the gym and in the minutes between client calls.
It felt normal because the consequences crept in over time. My attention and focus became scattered. I stopped noticing how the compulsiveness was feeding my hypervigilance.
Taking a week-long break out of the office gave me more time to breathe and think. I saw what it was doing to me and what I was doing to myself. So, I responded.
I installed a minimalist launcher on my cell phone—no more notifications, no more eye-catching icons. It let me choose which apps to bury under sub-menus to make them even harder to access. And it forces me to say, in advance, how many minutes I intend to spend using an app and warns me when the time runs out.
My phone usage plummeted at once. When I pick up my phone and see just a hospital-teal screen and the names of apps in text, I usually just put it down. I found new slots for reading, meditating, focusing on technique at the gym, and sometimes just sitting there.
I’m excited to see what becomes possible again.