Ep38: Your “Smart” Phone Is Killing Your Creativity | with Kevin Holesh

Smartphone addiction has become an epidemic. A study in 2015 found that Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times…per day. That’s an average of 46 times per day for the average person (and this was over 2 years ago, it’s only getting worse).

Want to be really shocked? Just one year later another research firm found that smartphone users engaged in 76 sessions per day (almost doubling in one year), and those same users touched their phones an average of 2617 times per day, and the top 10% of users exceeded more than 5400 touches per day.

The prevailing statistic today is that smartphone users check their phones more than 150 times per day. 150…doubling AGAIN from the previous year.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m on my deathbed, I highly doubt I’m going to think to myself, “I’m glad I kept up with all of those social media notifications.”

To put it frankly: There is no single distraction more detrimental to your creativity than your smartphone.

If you have any desire to thrive as a creative professional in the 21st century “attention economy” as dubbed by my previous guest Cal Newport, you have to learn how to manage your smartphone usage.

In today’s episode I chat with Kevin Holesh, an app developer and the creator of what might possibly be the most life-changing app you will ever download: Moment. We talk all about his app, how his journey to develop this app simply began as a way to minimize his own smartphone usage, and the most importantly how you can use Moment to become aware of your own smartphone addiction (and yes, you have a smartphone addiction). This app has been featured in frankly just about every major publication and podcast known to man, a few examples being Wired, MacWorld, Mashable, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and seriously at least 25 more that I don’t have time to mention.

This app is Fitbit for your smartphone addiction, and it will change your life. Even if you don’t listen to this podcast, do yourself a favor and download the app here.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Distraction addiction and the ways that screen time sneaks up on you
  • How much time are we really spending on our phones?
  • Kevin’s journey to developing the app millions of people didn’t know they needed
  • How moment is like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit but for phone usage
  • Why boredom is essential for a fruitful, creative life
  • The strange preconceptions that people have of productivity app designers
  • Do you know what percentage of your life you are spending looking at your phone?
  • Most frequently used apps are all social media related, not productivity based
  • How’s your phone hygiene? (and yes, it’s a real thing)

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Focus Driving App

Moment Screen Awareness App

Move App for Office Movement

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

Guest Bio:

Kevin Holesh is an app developer and the creator of Moment.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”