So I recently read: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

The Internet is full of vast amounts of knowledge and it keeps on bloating itself. We have got access to so much data that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find quality material that you can actually use. Then there are some gems that are available that once you stumble onto, you can not get enough of it.

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant, created, compiled, and edited by Eric Jorgenson is one such gem. This crisp book is one of the best things I stumbled upon this year. In fact, this book is one of the most hopeful pieces of gift or advice one can give oneself in this craptastic of a year.

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Inbox Zero

Are you suffering from Anxiety because of tonnes of unread emails clogging your inbox?

Do you spend all your day searching for emails, digging relevant information, and still end up with 10205482342 unread counts in your inbox?

Has the bug of productivity hacks bitten you and you want to organize things better? It also could be a mild case of OCD.

Then you are at the right place kids! Today we shall tell you about the Magical World of…

<dramatic pause for effect>

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Dumbing my smartphone

I am fed up of this thing called Smart Phone. It acts smart but it makes you dumb. I am done with it. I am done with checking newsfeed and timeline again and again without it giving anything worth back. I am done with answering innumerable notifications of several unwanted apps. I am part of 25-30 WhatsApp groups (because people love me?) some of which have same people but different names. Or there are subsets of many supersets of groups. I think my fingers are not at all compatible with keyboard of the phone so I find it highly inconvenient to keep typing there without any logic or purpose. I am fed up of notifications. I HATE NOTIFICATIONS. I like Pull notifications. These Push notifications have made my life sad. Bloody!

Anger is coming
My emotions are summed up by this illustration by Polish illustrator Morski.

So, I decided to dumb down my Smartphone. In order to do that, I read many articles in which people told how they bought Basic Phone Phones without any features except Calling and how did that improve their lives. From Punkt to good old Nokia, there are multiple handsets which still concentrate on calling and only that. I researched a lot and then came up with buying Samsung Guru 1200. It is Rs. 1200/- and doesn’t have any feature except facility to call and a torch light. No FM, no Camera, No MP3. It is the best thing you want to carry in your pocket. I thought life will be all peaceful and calm with this phone. No distractions. No apps. Chillax life. And the joy of pressing actual buttons instead of fake buttons of a touch screen. Bliss.

Calm Life
Calm Life

BUT, if you live in a society, you are bound to be answerable to many people. You may act as if you don’t care at all but you have to care. People term you antisocial and stop taking you seriously if you seriously cut off from all ways of communication online. You simply can’t disappear just like that once you have spent enough time online because you are expected to be there. You can’t just run away. You are now fully dependent on Internet. You need to check office emails, not regularly but sometimes for sure. You have to see Google Maps, because real men don’t ask for directions. You may check them on laptop and remember but frankly remembering is a passe when you can note down stuff on Evernote or Google Keep. You need to remember people’s birthdays, if you want them to remember yours. And when you don’t have a smartphone and you go out with friends who have smartphones, whom are you going to talk with. As rest all will have their heads dug in their screens anyways.

Thus, I came up with a way to Dumb Down Smartphone partially, keeping it slightly smart and dumb only when it comes to social networking. I blocked ALL NOTIFICATIONS from Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and have kept just Google Hangouts because nobody uses Hangouts anymore. I am still going to use the apps which increase and help in productivity such as Evernote, Maps, Calendar and Dropbox. This has actually helped. It gives such a relief to the sense when you don’t check your social media stuffs again and again. There are no distracting pop up notifications from people wishing you Good Morning 15 times a day or the same joke being forwarded from 10 different groups. Notifications are evil if you ask me. The only notification one must answer is the actual phone call. Nobody should be pinging you and say that it is urgent. Call when it is urgent. You can always go to the social networking app when you are totally free and can answer to their texts. People expect a reply, that is all. It is okay to delay a reply and better than ignoring others totally. (This way people think that you are busy so they don’t bother you much as well).

And, I keep my 1200 at home and as a spare phone in case Battery of the smart phone dies on me. The battery of 1200 lasts for a week guys.