Every time you unlock your phone's home screen, there are texts and emails begging a reply. Instagram photos begging to be liked. Tweets begging your commentary.
You could try this trick from a former Google designer to help curb your smartphone addiction. Here's another simple trick to take your productivity ambitions one step further. It comes from New York Times bestselling author and popular podcast host Tim Ferriss, who's obsessed with productivity. (If you're not familiar, he's the guy who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek.)
The ultimate phone power move
So that he can be his most productive and tune out the Internet chatter, Ferriss takes his phone off the grid. He's in airplane mode for most of the day. It's a critical part of his nighttime routine.
"My phone is on airplane mode I would say 80 percent plus of my day," Ferriss said on a recent podcast about how he deals with information overload. "This is particularly critical post-dinner, all the way until I finish my morning routine the next day."
Ferriss is a die-hard routines guy. He champions a good night's sleep, morning meditation and setting crystal clear goals at the start of every day. Setting his phone to airplane mode helps him stick to those routines and blocks out most distractions. Ferriss says only after he's "calibrated my true North for the day" will he switch out of airplane mode, opening himself back up to connecting with the world around him.
Business Insider reporter Richard Feloni says he thinks it's worth noting that Ferriss has an assistant who helps to keep things chugging along when he's in the airplane mode zone. This practice of essentially shutting off your phone from dinner to breakfast the following morning isn't practical for everyone. But you could definitely try it out for blocks of time throughout the day, especially for those periods when you need to hunker down and focus.
Ferriss isn't the first to champion this technique. CNET contributor Jason Cipriani wrote a piece pointing out the benefits of airplane mode when not flying. "Putting your iPhone in Airplane Mode puts you back in control," Cipriani writes. "You may be surprised how quickly you forget that your connection is turned off, and how peaceful your night can be."
Another phone hack? Turn off all notifications. That means no social media notifications. No email or text message notifications. No news notifications either. Ferriss vehemently despises notifications and has turned them all off. Instead of those dings and dots pulling you in, going notification-free means you get to decide when to engage.