Hint: It Involves Long-a** Password
I needed a speed bump for my phone usage. I am an addict, I needed that hit from my phone. Refresh for new messages, check Snap Views, read a quick article on Pocket. I did it in the name of productivity.
But that’s bullshit. It was a mix of escapism, addiction, and fear — all disguised under the name of productivity. And one of the four pillars of Living Deliberately is “Presence through Stillness.”
There was a true cost. I once lost my daughter from my periphery at the playground because I was crafting the perfect OneShot. I would watch precious free blocks of time vanish. But mostly, constantly checking for “something” was exhausting.
Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures
So I created the ultimate iPhone speedbump. Watch below.
Step 1: Create 15 Second Long Complex Password
It’s something like this (h/t: @kimkardashianwest):
Try typing it out to see how annoying it is (particularly the “”s). You can enable this by going to:
Settings ➡️ TouchID and Passcode ➡️ Change Passcode➡️ Passcode Options➡️ Custom Alphanumeric Code
Step 2: Disable TouchID
Step 3: That’s It!
So What Did I Learn?
1. I Stopped Checking my Phone at Urinals
Wait — I’m the only person that does that? In all seriousness, those tiny slivers of time such as waiting for an elevator, a Starbucks line, or a short walk between meetings are probably good for reflecting or zoning out. Some would argue that those are productive moments, I believe usually it’s just noise.
2. My iPhone Use Became More Deliberate
Because of the speedbump, I had a purpose each time I picked up my iPhone. It ranged from, “I need to respond to this email” to “Let me check on this meeting time” to “I want to scroll Twitter.” Regardless, it was deliberate and intentional.
3. My Wife and Daughter Love me More
If you’re a parent, please read this. There are many seemingly unproductive moments in parenting. Where your child is playing with blocks, doodling, running around the playground, or just being cute. IT IS SO TEMPTING TO PICK UP OUR PHONES DURING THESE MOMENTS. (And I do it all the time.) But you will miss the “Tiny Slices of Joy” that is watching your kids grow up. Wouldn’t you trade that Stupid Trump Tweet to watch a random moment of joy as your child discovers some new fragment of life?
4. I’m Actually More Productive
Context switching is taxing AF. We check our phones 150/day, each interruption takes 1 minute, and it takes our brains 1 minute to switch back.
That’s 5 hours of context switching EVERY DAY, bruh!
Also — creativity comes from giving ourselves blank space and “Interruption science” research pegs the cost of context switching at 23 minutes.
Any other side benefits?
1. Increase Native Camera Usage
You can swipe up from your lock screen to access the Native camera. In the post-Snapchat-Memories age, there’s something nostalgic about that. (Wow — is the native camera going the way of the Polaroid?) There’s also something reassuring about having a few photos on your camera roll.
2. Listen to Podcasts/Videos Uninterrupted
If you’re a productivity junkie like me, you probably read articles while listening to podcasts/videos. You also may know that multi-tasking has scientifically been shown to drop your IQ by 15 points. With this hack, you can still control your audio from the lock screen, but the temptation to multitask disappears.
So Are There Any Downsides?
1. Yes- It’s annoying AF
But that’s the point, no?
2. Are There Times When You Need Quick Access?
Yes — for me it was driving or on a day with a ton of meetings and logistics. To combat that, I just went back in and Enabled TouchID, just temporarily. Another neat hack, is to store a few of your spouse’s fingers on your TouchID.
We’re on the honor system here, though. Temporarily enabling TouchID on a lazy Saturday when nothing is going on is cheating.
3. Does it Impact Your Snap game?!?!
Nothing can impact my Snap Game! (?: @RadReads)
So give it a shot, let me know in the comments if you find this useful. And remember, #PresenceIsPrecious.
Khemaridh Hy is the creator of Rad Reads. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter to receive weekly insights on Being your Best Self.