Remove Almost All Apps From Your Phone’s Home Screen

I talk too much on my cell phone. I know this is a unique problem, but I’ve had enough mindless scrolling through social media. Every time I have to wait a minute or two for something, my phone comes out and I tap-tap-tap out of habit, now I look at the second photos of all Instagram posts, because I’ve already flipped through them once.

On the other hand, I’m not so tired of being willing to delete all my social networks and other time-wasting apps; I just needed a way to guess if I really want to use them at the moment.

I came across an article on Medium that had several suggestions for reducing mobile phone usage, some of which we’ve covered before, like changing the screen to grayscale or using the Forest app .

But there was one piece of advice I liked that I had never heard or considered before: empty the tray.

The tray is that bottom line on the home screen that probably contains a few of the apps you use the most. Get rid of them, writes author Neil Pasrich :

There is a small icon bar at the bottom of your mobile phone screen that stays there. For most people, this is probably their phone, email, browser, and messages. But when these icons are visible on every screen at all times, you are more likely to click on them. And, of course, email and text messages will wave little flags with numbers to get your attention. So don’t let them!

I thought for a moment, but I had to think that everything in my tray – my phone, my email, my podcast app, and my weather app – are actually very functional apps that I access for a specific purpose. and completing a very specific task. Start a podcast, call the phone, see if it will rain this afternoon.

A waste of time – everything else is on the main screen. I go to check the weather and before I know it, I flip through Instagram again , seeing even more pictures of my friends’ children returning to school.

So instead of emptying my tray, I decided to empty everything except the tray. I would limit myself to the four most important applications and force myself to scroll through the rest.

Ok I tried this and couldn’t narrow it down to four. I also didn’t want to swipe every time I needed access to my text messages, camera, photos, or Slack. But then again, these are applications that I use for specific purposes – take a picture, read text, reply to a work message. Not wasters of time.

Is swiping a big deal? No, of course not. But it made me think for a split second: “Why am I brushing it off?” If I know exactly what I want to access, I swipe. If I’m just bored or feel like I have to “talk to the phone,” I put off this nonsense. (Hey, maybe it’s time to start carrying around a book for these moments.)

As an added bonus, my home screen now looks less hectic and cluttered. This is the home screen of a peaceful soul:

I could even go one step further and group all my social media apps together, all my news apps together, and so on. All those extra swipes and clicks are going to make using my phone a little more of a headache. This is exactly what I am striving for.


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