I just bought my first MP3 player in more than a decade. To be honest, I can’t even remember when was the last time I used one. After all, it’s much more convenient to use my phone.
Yet, for the past year, trying to work and develop myself to achieve more, I have noticed the thing that takes the vast majority of my time is YouTube. Not that I am constantly watching videos, but I often use it for my music and then end up checking out videos about games or late-night shows, or even just start chatting with friends.
I’ve tried everything, from blocking the app on my phone to leaving it a bit further from me but no matter what happens, I will last only a short while and either unblock it or get up to go pick it up.
My behavioral addiction is YouTube. Yours might be Facebook, Instagram or whatever else. Either way, everything is on your phone and succeeding in keeping it far from us is probably the toughest challenge we all have daily.
Since we are all used to constant chatter in our head or around us, listening to music, audiobooks, or even soothing sounds throughout the day is common.
So what if we could just have those sounds without that nagging app taunting us?
The MP3 player is the solution to our problems.
The one I got looks like an iPod Shuffle (remember those?) and can hold up to 32GB of music. It’s tiny and weighs less than 20 grams. But what it can do is change a life.
1. Put your phone away
By now, we have all heard of the advice to put our phones away from us to become able to concentrate. It’s, unfortunately, easier said than done when you constantly want to check your feed or reply to messages.
By having an MP3 player next to you and listening to some random sounds or music you’ve previously found yourself able to concentrate to, that distraction can fade away quickly.
2. Get out and look up
Similarly, we have all seen the advice that we should try to go out more, go sunbathing or even forest-bathing (as the Japanese advise). Some of us have even done it and gone out in nature to enjoy it a bit and refresh ourselves.
But how are you going to do on your way to that beautiful place in nature? You will want to listen to something, won’t you? So you end up taking your phone with you and the trip itself has your head looking down instead of up.
Having a tiny MP3 player will allow you to set different types of songs or mixes for each activity and allow you to actually leave your phone behind. If only for 20 minutes. After all, it’s still better than nothing.
3. Set a limit to choices
Our phones are great, aren’t they? We get unlimited internet and pretty much endless choices of music between apps like Spotify, Deezer or even YouTube.
It’s convenient but it also makes us look for the perfect song or sound at the perfect moment. Movies have done this to us by setting perfect scenes accompanied with the right music. Unfortunately (or maybe “fortunately” here?), perfection doesn’t exist.
An MP3 Player will allow you to have a much more limited choice of music and thus spend much less time looking for the right one.
It can instantly stop the paradox of choice. Having too many choices prevents you from making a final decision.
Some of us will remember the first ones with just 128 Mb, limiting us to only a couple of songs. I can still clearly picture the first one I got and the excitement to have my favorite songs everywhere with me.
Let’s get back to that time. That incredible time when our eyes could be looking ahead. When the beginning of the century had technology right.