Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it was divine intervention. Whatever the case, I managed to reset my mobile phone just before New Year’s Day.
I’d finished having my eyes dilated at the eye doctor, so my focus was a little suspect. When my phone locked up and refused to play the podcast I wanted to hear, I reached for the side button to hold it down to wake up the phone.
A message eventually popped up, which I assumed asked me if I wanted to reboot the phone. Since my reading abilities were temporarily knocked out, I’ll never know for sure.
Turns out, it must’ve asked me if I really wanted to do a factory reset. Once I saw the black screen with tiny scribbles on it, I knew I’d done something very, very stupid, and I was in the process of losing everything I had on my phone.
Or perhaps it was something very, very smart.
Once it finally booted back up nearly half an hour later and my eyesight returned to normal, I started thinking about what I needed to get my phone back to functional. Frankly, I kind of live on my phone. Between emails, social media, and even the ability to edit stories and pages on it, it’s an irreplaceable resource. And oh yeah, I do receive phone calls and text messages on it too.
Then I thought about simplifying my life. What was on there that really didn’t need to be? What was front and center that didn’t need to be?
I didn’t put any games or video platforms back onto it. I rearranged my home page so it truly reflected my home, with direct links to contact my wife and children instead of putting them all in a single folder like I previously had. Work items were all grouped together on a page to the side, instead of any of it showing up on the beginning.
I feel lucky about my accidental reset. It gave me an opportunity to take a step back and think about what was really important and whether the organization of my life truly reflected that. Is family truly front and center of my attention? Are my work expectations all appropriately grouped together so they can be accomplished without taking over my focus in the other areas of my life?
Frankly, it’s making my phone run faster too, which is a nice reward for my stupidity.
I’ve never been much of one for making New Year’s resolutions, especially considering how easily they’re broken and forgotten. I prefer to aim for themes for the year, such as 2015’s “year of being present,” 2016’s “make time for what matters to you” or making 2017 the “year of critical thinking.”
This year, I’m challenging myself to organize my life to really reflect my beliefs. And thanks to those dilated eyes and pressing the wrong button, I’m starting with the little life organizer I keep in my pocket.