Your iPhone is hijacking your mind -- here are two tips for getting it back

Your iPhone is probably taking up way too much time and mental space. How can you get it under control?

Ex-Google design ethicist Tristan Harris shares a bunch of tips on his site Time Well Spent. Two of them seem particularly important to me.

First, get your notifications under control. Harris recommends getting notifications only from people, not businesses or machines. Whatever you do, do it consciously. Otherwise your attention is at the mercy of every app on your phone, which could mean thousands of notifications a day.

Second, hide all unimportant apps and open them only by typing their names. As Harris writes, “typing filters out unconscious choices while keeping conscious ones.” With this shift, you will open, say, Candy Crush, only when you consciously want to use it, not just because you see it while mindlessly flipping through apps.

How many apps do you need one-touch access to? Harris recommends limiting it to 4 — 6, with the rest dumped in folders on the second page. Me, I like filling the whole front page, so I can put the higher value apps at the bottom for easy thumb reach, with all others dumped in a folder at the top. In any case, allow no more than one page of apps that you see and access the rest by typing.

I switched to the one-page app layout a few weeks ago and have no regrets. My latest selections:


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