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Why I STILL Don't Have A Smartphone - Tucson Personal Training Blog

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Why I STILL Don't Have A Smartphone - Tucson Personal Training Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder – 13 minute read – August 6th, 2019

About 3 years ago, I wrote an article called “Why I Don’t Have A Smartphone” (click here if you missed it). In it, I spoke about how what started as an innocent tardiness to the upgrade party, became a very intentional decision. The main takeaways from it were:

  • Being more present during live interactions with actual humans
  • Being more attentive to my spouse
  • Disallowing myself to be distracted by shiny objects and actually getting crap done

Well gang, it’s been almost three years and I’m still sporting the flip phone. However, nowadays, people aren’t making fun of me like they used to. The most common thing I hear is, “Oh wow. I wish I could go back to that.” Just to be clear, I didn’t ‘go back’. I’ve never ‘went to’, and frankly, after exploring cost vs benefit (I’m talking about time and productivity), I have no plans of getting one. As a matter of fact, I’ve actually gone more extreme on guarding my time… which is the point of today’s post.

Last year The Protocol had its biggest year ever, I had an awesome year in my real estate business, traveled and taught several workshops on the road, launched The Protocol Massage, and built a new home for our dog Sadie (she was even gracious enough to let Marie and I move into it. After all, someone had to make dinner and keep the place clean for her). One of my friends asked, “When do you sleep?” The answer is 8 hours at night and a one-hour nap in the middle of the day. I wish I could tell you that I’m some kind of superhero/entrepreneur hybrid, but this simply isn’t the case.

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For starters, I’m extremely fortunate to have a team of very talented people surrounding me who work tirelessly to help execute this vision we call ‘The Protocol’. Secondly, I’m strategically lazy. Being lazy isn’t necessarily as bad as people make it out be. Great innovation can come out of this dynamic. The best example is, of course, efficiency.

In order to be efficient, now more than ever we must institute Pareto’s Principle and be hyper-focused on the 20% of activity that produces 80% of the desired outcomes. More importantly (especially in today’s distracted society), we must also be hyper-focused on eliminating the 80% of stuff that just wastes our time.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t feel holier-than-thou for my actions regarding technology or lack-thereof. As a matter of fact, it’s the opposite. If given the option, I’d diddle around on social media and get nothing done just like anyone else. These platforms are designed from the ground up to hook you in and keep you on them. I actively work to remove them from my life because I’m just as bad about it as anyone else. My flip phone is boring, and I like it that way. After 30 seconds of handling business, it goes back in my pocket and I’m back to doing more important things.

I’d like to share with you some other things I’ve done beyond the lack of a smartphone to make sure time vampires are held at bay. Since most of you aren’t about get rid of your smartphone, perhaps some of these other things can help you out.

Retire the phone 2 hours before bed in another room – We converted the outlet closest to the entrance from the garage to a multi-port USB outlet. When we get home, the phones go on the charger there. From that point on, it’s phone-free evenings at the Trubman household. Are we perfect about it? No. We’re business owners and sometimes we still have work to do, but the intention is always to put the phones away when we get home.  

“But Jerry, that’s my alarm clock! How am I supposed to get up in the morning?”

Did you know you can buy a plain-old alarm clock for like around ten bucks? You know… one that just beeps and you shut it off without the temptation of grabbing it and scrolling for 20 minutes?

Although I do still have an old-school alarm clock, I’ll be honest: I use the Phillips Hue to wake up in the morning. I love being gently nudged out of my slumber with light instead of a blaring noise. I’ve been using it for a few years now and I couldn’t imagine going back to a sound-based wake-up. 

Get News From Boring Sources – Despite my better judgement, I’m still a bit of a current events junkie. I was a news radio listener for years until a friend of mine told me about these things called ‘podcasts’. This was about 6 years ago and I’ve been a convert ever since. Instead of listening to an ever-repeating echo chamber of news radio nonsense, I can now listen to subjects that actually interest me. Gone are the days of listening to same 5 news stories over and over (along with the color commentary). Now the radio in my truck has become a tool to actually enrich my life.

Oh, and far as news goes, I’ve learned a little trick: I have a Hulu subscription and first thing I listen to with my morning coffee is the first 60 seconds of the nightly news from the night before. The first minute of the broadcast is where they read the headlines of what they’ll be talking about. After that’s done, I shut it off. I’m now caught up. No sensationalized embellishment. No one telling me what I’m supposed to think about the story. Just the plain and simple ‘what happened yesterday’ stuff.

If a certain story really grabs my attention, I’ll look it up on Wikipedia. I got this idea from Mark Manson (his blog is awesome, BTW). If you go to Wikipedia’s home page and click on ‘English’, you will get news stories that have all the fluff completely taken out of them. It’s very refreshing and makes you realize just how much most media outlets are more concerned with designing headlines to piss you off (so you’ll click on them), as opposed to delivering actual quality content. You’re welcome.

Delete Social Media Apps – About 3 months ago, I deleted the Facebook app from my iPad. It was a little weird at first, but I got used to it pretty fast. The only way for me to check Facebook now is to fire up my main computer, which has led to my usage being down 90%. You guys won’t believe this… not a single person has messaged me asking why I’m not as active on Facebook as I used to be… NOT A SINGLE ONE OF YOU! I’m so disappointed…

“But Jerry, what’s wrong with social media? I like being able to check in with my friends, stay in touch with business contacts, and find new customers!”

Some businesses may be different, but I’ve run the gamut with using social media to promote my businesses (including plenty of paid ads). I won’t say that I’ve never gotten a single new client, but when comparing the amount of time spent on the platforms to the amount of new business acquired, the return on investment is just depressing. Literally ANYTHING else would have been more productive.

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I’m also noticing a paradigm shift in our culture that I believe is being heavily fueled by social media. We used to get out news from sources that were far more balanced, and journalists were respected figures (think Walter Cronkite). Today we are more polarized than ever. Never in my life had I ever lost a friend or a client due to political differences. However, in the last couple years it’s happened more times than I can count. This bothers me for several reasons: One, this has to be one of the dumbest reasons to terminate a relationship. Second, my political beliefs are about as center-of-the-aisle as one can possibly be. If I’m seen as “too politically extreme” for someone to be friends with me, it says WAY more about their views than mine. We seem to be turning into what Bill Maher calls “emotional hemophiliacs” who bleed uncontrollably when presented with a viewpoint that is different from theirs.

I’m not saying that technology hasn’t done good things for us: Modern scheduling, accounting, and banking apps have significantly streamlined how business gets done. I can run the back-end of my businesses from pretty much anywhere in the world where I can get an internet connection. People are concerned about automation eliminating jobs (something technology has been doing for decades BTW… yet we’ve somehow adapted), but automating certain tasks in a small business can sometimes mean the difference between profitable and not-profitable.

The take-home message here is this: learn to be more guarded about your time. No matter if you’re Jeff Bezos or the bagger at a grocery store, we all get the same 24 hours every day. How we use that time determines where we end up personally and professionally. According to a survey from GWI, Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media. First off, remember this is a survey. Let’s be honest, we’re not always entirely truthful when self-reporting how much time we waste. Second, this is an average. Some spend less (like the many people I know who have zero social media), and others spend WAY more. A different study found that teens spend as much as 9 hours per day on social media. Wow.

The most common excuse given for not exercising? Not having enough time.


Until next time,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Marie and dog Sadie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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