Digital Minimalism: Having your Phone as a Productivity Tool instead of Distraction

Living in the digital world, it is almost impossible for all of us to not have our phone with us wherever we go. Phones or other gadgets like laptops and PCs are one of the most essential tools that we need to have in our daily life. We use our phone to connect with other people by texting and through social media. We seek entertainment through our phones by watching Youtube videos, scrolling TikTok, and also playing games. Most people use their phones for those reasons. But, only a few of us actually use our phones to help us do our tasks on a daily basis. Instead, our phones have become a distraction and distanced us from the real world.

Phone addiction is not something new as most of us probably have experienced it. Having the need to check your phone or even glancing at your phone during conversations can be really stressful. What triggers this behavior is not your phone itself, but what’s happening on your phone. What distracts you is what’s inside your phone. Having a ton of social media apps, games, and other unnecessary apps can divert your attention away from things that you actually need to do. You might need to finish your assignments or do the dishes, but instead you’re scrolling through TikTok for 3 hours, which you’re not intending to do.

This is why we should start implementing digital minimalism by having your phone to help do your tasks in your daily life and having it as a productivity tool. People who want to start implementing digital minimalism can start by doing the easiest thing, which is deleting apps on your phone that you don’t use or apps that you keep on your phone for years because you thought you might use it in the ‘future’ but you actually don’t. Having too many apps on your phone is unnecessary and can only fill out your storage. It will also be hard to focus when there are so many things going on on your homescreen. Eventually, if you do use a lot of apps, it’s very recommended if you organize it in folders.

Another thing to do to organize your phone is by managing your files. If you’re a student or you’re working, the amount of files and documents we have on our phones and gadgets is countless and it keeps coming in. You can organize all of your files and documents by utilizing cloud storage such as Gdrive, OneDrive, or even apps like Notion. You can also use your other gadgets like a laptop to store all of your files. In that way, your phone is less cluttered and you can easily access the files that you need without spending too much time doing it. Most people don’t understand that an unorganized or cluttered phone can lead to a cluttered mind too.

It is not only all about organization, but you also need to make the most out of your phone features that are offered. Features like ‘do not disturb’ can be used if you want to do something and you only need your phone for doing specific things that help with your work. It will turn off your notifications and restrict you to access apps that distract you or have nothing to do with what you’re working on. Other than that, you can also place a screen time widget or reminder on your phone, so you will know how much time you have been spending on your phone. In that way, you know when exactly you need to rest and stop using your phone.

Other things you can do to organize your phone and make the most out of it as a productivity tool is to delete old emails, documents, photos and videos, turn off notification for apps you don’t need, clean your browser history, organize and arrange your apps into folders, download apps and use websites that you can use to help you with what you’re working on.

Lastly, to overcome phone addiction and start going to digital minimalism is to change your mindset. Remind yourself that you won’t miss anything if you don’t check your phone every 10 minutes. Understand what your purpose is for using social media or any other apps and why you’re attached to it. Have control of yourself to limit the use of your phone and focus on doing things that you need to do in your day. Search for another activity or hobby that shifts your attention from checking your phone and appreciate and pay attention to all of the things that happen around you. The purpose of digital minimalism is to have less on your phone and make it boring and uninteresting so that you won’t be distracted to do things other than what you actually need to do.

Writer: Elisabeth Grisella Sampel

Editor: Ias Aprilia