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The AIR Method - Phase IV
The top of the mountain
Phase IV is the top of the mountain. It’s the place you wished you were at the start of this journey. There’s more ground to travel, but it’s downhill from here. If you’re reading this, then you are ready to delete some of those stupid time wasting apps from your phone.
How do you know you are in the right mindset to be on this step?
You have an app who’s timer has been set at 5 minutes for a while now.
You are probably no longer spending hours scrolling on your device BUT
You’re still struggling with the “looking at phone instead of tolerating five minutes of boredom” aspect.
1 - Delete a “junk food” app who’s timer is down to the minimum time.
Pick the one you’ll miss the least. Make it easy on yourself.
If a week later you find it’s absence is stressing you out, bring it back.
If you’re only using it five minutes/day anyway it’s not that big a problem, so don’t beat yourself up over it. You will get there eventually.
2 - Don’t delete “whole grain” apps (yet).
Right now, you’re not worrying about trying to quit your addiction, you’re just moving it to from something very unhealthy and difficult to quit, to something healthier and easier to quit. if you need a refresher on the differences between “junk food” and “whole grain” apps, click here:
Unlike real foods, we don’t need to consume anything on our phones at all.
3 - Resist an urge to move too fast.
The big secret to the entire AIR method is to move slowly and thoughtfully. Remember: your brain takes time to adjust to each change. These skills will come in handy when you inevitably find yourself confronted with the addictive parts of smartphones at some time in the future.
It’s important to take your time “going down the mountain” and learn what it’s like to “deescalate”, remember the pool/ladder analogy from the AIR method intro? If you never learn to use a pool ladder you’ll always end up drowning.
You don’t want to live your whole life in fear of smartphones. If you learn what it feels like to download app, get what you need, and delete it again, you’ll never have to worry about becoming fully immersed.
There will probably be a time months or years from now where you accidentally find yourself hooked on some app again, when that time comes remember the skills you learned here. You don’t need to wait for it to become really bad again.
4 - A month later (or whenever you feel comfortable), delete another “junk food” app.
Again, pick the one you’ll miss the least.
5 - Repeat Phase IV steps 1-4 until all junk food apps are removed
Feeling scrolley? That’s what the “whole grain” apps are for. Don’t overthink it.
It’s important during this phase not to get complacent and feel like the top of the mountain is the end of the journey. Learning how to quit “junk food” is not the same thing as knowing how to cook. Phones are tools, and have positive uses. Being able to use them without getting sucked in is the real goal here.
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