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iPhone…not a good bed partner

2010 April 2
tags: iPhone
by Andrew   

iphone gtdMy iPhone does not a good bed partner make. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Decide beforehand when to put it down if you’re going to use it at night.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m almost entirely convinced the iPhone is the greatest piece of personal productivity technology available today. It might even be a benevolent gift from fantastical beings from the distant future, toned down for our use…but I doubt it. It’s more likely just another product of Apple’s uncanny ability to make technology accessible in such a way that it completely transforms the user experience.

Unfortunately, the iPhone is such a ubiquitous part of my life that it is…well…ubiquitous. I certainly don’t bathe with it, but I could if I bought one of these: Andrew’s iPhone Waterproof Accessories

Pretty much anywhere else, it’s with me. I have apps for my calendar, my GTD lists, contacts, Bible, prayer list, home automation, network maintenance, news reading, social networking and blogging, and games, as well as dozens of other apps for which I’m trying to decide on their contribution to my productivity and enjoyment of life.

Because of the presence of Bible software, prayer lists, ambient sound conditioners, and the ability to do last minute email checks before I go to sleep, I keep my iPhone near my bed. Because I have considerable difficulty sleeping regardless of the methods I employ, it’s easy to resort to Bible reading, task processing, or must-have-new-app searches. If I were going to fall asleep earlier than normal – which is doubtful – having my iPhone within such easy reach is counterproductive. Bedtime should be rest time – which should follow your decompression time. Working into the night is detrimental to your health, rest, temperament, and – highly impactful if not most important – your productivity the next day.

So, decide beforehand when to put it down and stick to your decision. Better yet, don’t follow my example and read until you can’t keep your eyes open, unless what you’re reading is the complete opposite of exciting and engaging.

You should be going to bed for sleep when you’re ready to sleep, otherwise you’ll train your mind to stay awake.

So, my low-tech solution? I won’t give up my ability to open and refer to many different Bible translations and dictionaries afforded me by the iPhone, I still read on it at night on the weekend until I’m at the point of extreme drowsiness, and then I put it down. If I force myself through the drowsiness on Friday night, say, then I will pay for it Saturday morning when I’m supposed to change the oil in my wife’s car, mount the bike rack on my SUV, take the dog to the vet, and pick up the goodies from the geek store to fix my friend’s computer.

Try that during the week and you’ll be out of steam, creativity, productivity, and endurance before your workday is over.

NEXT WEEK: The One Page Inbox

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