Focus & Digital Balance

Blogging about Digital Detox and unplugging, customizing our connectivity, new technologies, distraction management, and a healthy lifestyle in our hyperconnected world

Give me tea or give me death | Maheen’s OFFTIME Story

Maheen Rehman (23) from Karachi, Pakistan, is doing her Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelors in Surgery (MBBS). Her story relates to the matter of self control. Asked for a picture that either shows her or represents OFFTIME, she sent us an image that states: “Give me tea or give me death”.

MaheenRehman_ogHere’s Maheen’s OFFTIME Story:

I’m not someone with a lot of self control. With an upcoming exam it upsets me how much of my time I spent on my phone, everyday. And I wasn’t even actually doing anything productive within that time, or having too many conversations. The urge to check my phone every five minutes, for what I thought is only a second, ended up being an entire day. And if I would ever share this truth with my friends they’d ask why I didn’t just turn off my phone when I was studying. That’s it. Problem over. But I didn’t know how to explain it to them. It wasn’t that simple. I just couldn’t stop myself from grabbing my phone and browsing during my study time.

But one day I’d had it. I sat down and googled „softwares to lock your phone“. I have this tendency to Google everything, from recipes to growing vegetables at home to formatting my computer, I am proud to say my life depends on googling. Frankly speaking I’m really glad I googled that day, because if I had not, me and OFTIME would have never met each other. I searched the application in the Playstore. At that time I thought: “What could I lose?” And anyway, I was already losing time.

I downloaded OFFTIME and initially the profile settings, the application access options, the option to manual unlock – everything felt a bit overwhelming. Initially I just said “next” to each option. Now, can I manually unlock it? Because I know myself so well, I decided to go for: “No manual unlock option”.

Honestly the first time I took an OFFTIME I was really annoyed. I had been so used checking my phone every second I felt incomplete not doing so. I even tried to delete the application so I could unlock my phone but figured the software developers are smarter than I thought. And guess what? That day I actually ended up studying. My phone was just lzing in a corner all day long and within a few days I felt less and less dependent on the device. I was actually getting stuff done! I was over the moon. I went around telling everyone about it, nobody could really wrap their head around this extremism when I could just turn off my WiFi or my phone. But I didn’t care anymore. I found my solution to my ADHD*. It felt so liberating, my life is no longer dominated by my phone.

I think I haven’t been happier since the world got accustomed to using smartphones to say the least. For someone with a concentration span of a goldfish like me, I think OFFTIME has changed my life and for the better. I’m really grateful that someone actually came up with this idea. In a world where our lives resolve around our phones this needed to be done. Constant notifications, staying in touch with the world has hampered progress and consumed so much of our precious time. It feels like we get done more since we have constant access to information but I’ve realised it’s quite the opposite. I think I better go lock my phone again and get back to my books!