Former Google design ethicist and Time Well Spent founder Tristan Harris talked to Thrive Global about how smartphones have been designed to hijack our brains and offers solutions for how to organize your phone to “un-hijack” your mind. Harris’s strategies all hinge on “put[ting] conscious choices first” with small tweaks like managing notifications and being intentional about the placement of your icons on your home screen.

Harris shared five tips:

1. Receive notifications from people only, not machines.

2. Set up custom notifications for special people.

3. Put only “tools” — and not apps designed to consume more of your attention — on your home screen.

4. Scramble your apps regularly to create a pattern interrupt, so your thumb doesn’t get in the habit of going to the same apps.

5. Put everything else in a folder on your second screen, and use your phone’s search function to get to non-tool apps.

Watch Harris explain below:

Originally published at