This season a tree surrounded by gifts seems the way to bless your family, but maybe there’s something different you can do. I recently made the decision to remove all my social media apps and the web browsing app from my cell phone. I just reached the point where I was overwhelmed.

No matter what time of day, no matter what I was doing, and no matter where I was I just kept getting sidetracked. Notifications distracted me from everything—from work, from my family, and even from myself. And often led to mindless scrolling and wasted time! I learned that removing them is a great way to bless your family.

It takes action to bless your family

I got the idea years ago from a friend and mastermind member, Eric Dingler, who runs a non-profit for adoptive families. Much like myself, Eric is someone who wants to be the best family leader he can be.

He takes a very intentional approach when it comes to spending time and being present with his wife Marissa and their kids. But when I heard he was so serious about it that he removed all work-related apps from his phone, I was like, “WHOA!”

I never knew how distracted I was

I wasn’t sure if I could go that far, but I knew I needed to do something. So, project “removal of phone apps began.” I call it a project because it wasn’t as simple as going to Facebook and Instagram. I started there and thought I was done, but it seemed every day I’d get some type of notification. I would even get notifications from my Bible app alerting me (still not removing it though).

Many times just knowing there was info waiting for me caused me to go scrolling. It seemed every time I had a break in work, or what seemed like a minute of downtime, led to my phone “calling” me. it was just silly and I was missing out on valuable interaction and quality time with my family.

Even if I just cleared the notification, it interrupted my train of thought, the conversation I was having, and my overall flow for just a few seconds. And if I did open the notification, off down the scrolling rabbit hole I went, but most of the time it didn’t take a notification to take me there.

What a difference-maker

Now, with basically zero apps to catch my eye, and very few notifications — I still get text messages — I can honestly say my life is so much more focused!

I get work projects done faster, and better. I am fully present with my wife and kids. And I have not missed a thing from those apps or notifications.

You can do it too, no you SHOULD do it too

When I log onto those apps at the end of my day, or when I have a free minute to surf, I get bombarded with messages. But I find that most of them aren’t very important, and I gravitate to the few that are. It has changed the game for me.

Removing phone apps and notifications can do the same for you, too. I encourage you to do, no, I CHALLENGE you to do so.

Your family over your phone

I know if you are here reading my site, then you probably have a family, and you really want to have the best relationship you can with them. You want to bless your family. Eliminating unimportant distractions like cell phone apps and notifications is one major step you can take to do that.

Eliminating unimportant distractions is one major step you can take to bless your family. Click To Tweet

So, here is what I want you to do…

I want you to bless your family…

For the rest of this month, I want you to remove all your apps that you absolutely don’t need from your phone. For me, I have apps for my daily routines that I used twice per day, my Bible app, my calendar, maps, Gmail (which will soon be removed), and some apps that I never use (like specific travel apps, restaurants, etc).

Try it and see what happens. When the month ends, if you want to add some of them back or turn notifications on, do so. But my guess is you will feel so free, so not distracted, and relate so much better to your family that you won’t want to turn them back on. I know that is exactly how I feel.

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