How To Stay Calm: One Little Thing

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Here’s a wee something I’ve done in an attempt to make my phone my slave, rather than it owning me.

I’ve moved  the email apps off the home screen and onto the fourth and final screen.

What a small thing: what a huge change.

You see, my phone isn’t really a phone, it’s a mini computer in my handbag. The whole family’s workings can be run through that phone… so long as I’ve got my glasses on….

My blog and all other business can all come at me through that phone too.

Organising Our Lives On Email

Email is where all my organising happens, with one address for home/family and one for work.

My Mac Mail gets all the school and sport emails, all the bills, library reminders and social stuff for all the kids and myself.

My Gmail addresses and aliases get a million press releases, all my bloggy and writing work matters and the newsletters I like to read.

These emails make up my TO DO list really... and it can all get overwhelming…. even though I have decluttered the email inboxes as much as is possible.

Anyway, I used to see the emails popping up on the phone home screen when I was out and about and generally on the run. Too much!

Now I don’t... I have to make the conscious decision to find out if I have emails. I aim in fact to deal with them all whilst sitting at my desk.

This means they don’t distract me when I am with the kids and want to have a real focus on them and connection to them.

If I need to I can flick through the screens to check the emails and can reply. But I aim not to do that on the run any more.

My head got too cluttered.


Very little is really vital in life.

I’m not letting emails and social media harass me any more when I’m away from my desk.  The kids harass me quite enough already.

Do you have one simple thing that helps keep you calm?

0 thoughts on “How To Stay Calm: One Little Thing”

  1. That is exactly the conclusion I have also come too. Set aside time to sit at my desk and answer my emails, deal with admin, etc. Its too easy to get sucked into the instant access to my emails, far too distracting from the here and now.

    • Have you taken the email apps off your phone altogether?? I have been thinking about it, but sometimes really need to send one urgently.

  2. Good idea! I recently turned off notifications to Facebook and my emails so it doesn’t ping at me incessantly – it’s been surprisingly effective in managing my sense of overwhelm!

    • Oh yes, notifications, I never press OK for them but one or two apps still send them through and now you’ve reminded me I am off to learn how to switch them off – right now.

  3. Such a great tip! I made the decision to disconnect my iPhone’s email app and only check email when I am sitting at my desk. I can still access it via Safari if I am out and about and need to check an important email, or access tickets or something for a show but it’s definitely made a big difference not having the notifications of new email popping up on my phone all the time. When I used to work full-time before the kids I had a work-issued BlackBerry and because we dealt with international publishers I was constantly finding myself replying to emails at all hours of the day and night. It got to the point where I just had to turn off the emails on a Friday night lest I be tempted to reply! It definitely taught me a lesson, that’s for sure!

    • Great to hear… I will take a leaf out of your book and try getting rid of the apps altogether… and just use Safari, hadn’t thought of that…

      I just don’t want to be looking at screens too much… some people seem to be on Facebook dozens of times a day but that’s just not me. Also I need my glasses to read the screen and don’t always have them on!

  4. I know what you mean when you say it’s a mini computer in your handbag! My whole life is run from my phone too BUT I don’t have any kids at school to organise anymore (yee ha!). Had to laugh when you said … “as long as I have my glasses on” … too true! 🙂

  5. I think it’s awesome that you have done this. I am reducing my social media scrolling as it often both depress me (FOMO-Like) or make me annoyed BUT…I also like checking out my pics and that of others on IG and a wee bit of social media over at ye olde Facey is ok when I don’t do it for too long.
    The apps I love on my phone are those that help me try to be more mindful and to connect with my headspace via meditation. I like to think of my phone as my slave too! I deliberately switch off reminders and all that too when I want to.
    I have set my background to night-mode because while I do have the phone next to me on a table, it is not a bright screen and I turn it over anyway. I often listen to relaxing podcasts when I am drifting off. I do not listen to Mrs Woog and Kim at those times! Hilarious!

    • Hello Denyse, Facebook can also annoy me a lot as I resent it not showing me everything about everybody… Twitter is better for that… so I don’t use Facey a lot… I love in real life chatters best of all. xxxx

  6. It’s crazy how much time our phones can zap away from us. I now also log out of facebook/pages apps during the day as I was finding myself checking new notification and scrolling aimlessly when there are plenty of other things I could/should be doing. I’ll also be moving my email icon now too 🙂

    • Yes, I do need time away from the phone and it makes a big difference to the kids when I keep it away out of sight… they don’t grab it and plug in themselves and they don’t get annoyed with me when I am saying ‘just this one thing and then….’

  7. Seana

    I have recently made a conscious decision with my emails that first thing I download them all from overnight and before I start anything I do a quick scan through deleting anything that I don’t even need to read. This reduces my emails immediately.
    Then the next scan is a scan for anything that might require a time sensitive reply (rarely if ever are there any of those). Lastly, I leave all the rest there unopened until I know I can read, process, action and file. If I don’t have the time to do all of that without interrupting what I am needing to get done then they sit unopened.
    For me the most important part of this process is the ability to file/delete the actioned email. I find a cluttered inbox quite overwhelming so this is the strategy I have come up with to cope with that. Much like your moving the apps out of sight! I suspect that might be the next thing for me.
    Cat xo

    • I’m with you in hating a cluttered email inbox. I’ve seen friends with literally 1000s of unopened emails in their inbox and have felt quite unwell just at the sight of it. Shudder.

      Your method sounds great and I’m going to add it into my new regime. Take it easy.

  8. Don’t have a smart phone!
    I flip flop about this one but on balance I usually decide to stay with my brick which only does calls or text. I don’t think I’m missing out on anything except maybe a little convenience occasionally. But I gain a lot. I can still find my way around without the need to check on my phone where I am or where I should be going. I choose when to engage with social media, the charge lasts a week, and I am not bogged down by the digital stuff, apps etc which I seem to be able to live without. X

    • Maybe when this next one passes away, I could try a simple not-smart phone. And get back into using maps… which I always enjoyed a lot!


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