At this point, the “smart phone” has become jokingly familiar as a device in which we can become easily lost. Apps to keep us focused, to block this or the other, and Apple’s “focus mode” help to keep us where we want our minds to be.

For a moment, let us consider why we can so readily get derailed:

Normally, you would:
1. Have an idea of what to do on the phone,
2. Unlock the screen,
3. Find something you had been in the middle of before, be that a webpage, game, or other app, and
4. If you’re lucky (or at least not tired), remember why you went to the phone in the first place
5. Then have to make a decision as to whether to do what you came to do or to pick up with the previous thing you had been last doing on the phone
6. Then, if you decide on what you originally wanted, you attempt to find your way to that thing by closing the offending app
7. But then you may see that there are other badges and icons asking for your attention
8. So you have to once again decide as to whether to go with your original decision or investigate “whether there is something more important to do now,” this time from multiple sources
9. If you decide (for a third time) on what you originally wanted, finally go there.
10. Once you arrive at the app you intended, you now need to try to remember why you wanted to go there in the first place.

For a wandering mind, in particular, this is punishing. Every decision one makes is a form of a weight. Every decision risks throwing us off course, including those we don’t even realize are decisions. Whether small or large, we need to assess a risk or loss. Otherwise, it would not be a decision.

Having a pre-considered destination on screen as soon as you lift the phone can help tremendously by removing these obstacles.

iOS 16 adds a super useful feature to the iPhone, a means of putting what you want on the front screen. Combining it with OmniFocus’ widgets, we can directly get to the places we deliberately design for ourselves.

For example:

Here you can see a set my core lists:
– The Touch list which is a set of things I wish to touch on today
– The Anchor list which is about those things I currently have on my mind
– The Inbox which is my of unaddressed decisions.

If you’re interested in seeing how you can set it up for yourself, check out the post here…

To set it up for OmniFocus as I have here:

  1. Long press the screen
  2. Select “Customize”
  3. tap the area for widgets
  4. choose the blank OmniFocus option

    If it’s not there, select the OmniFocus app option first.
  5. tap the newly created widget
  6. Search for the perspective you might want to add
  7. Select it
  8. Tap the x to close the widget options
  9. Select Done
  10. Select “Set as Wallpaper pair” unless you want to do other customizations

That’s it.

Now, instead of the above mess of ten steps, you go directly to a place you’ve set.