Using Gray Mode for Productivity & Wellness

 Many of us spend hours each day with a phone in our hand. Our phones can help us keep in touch with our partners, friends, and children, and keep us up to date on our projects at work even as we walk to lunch or sit on the T.

Colorful iPhone homescreenGray iPhone homescreenThey can also be a huge distraction, though. There is a sense of obligation to answer each message immediately when it reaches our phone, and there is an infinite quantity of entertainment content that can pull us away from important work or quality time.

How do we respond to this constant pull toward the small screen? There are a number of popular solutions, such as turning on “Do Not Disturb” mode at a certain time in the evening, to alleviate the constant buzzing and pinging of infinite communications.

Gray solitaire screenRegular solitaire screenThere is another tool, though, that can temporarily turn down the intensity of our phones’ appealing visuals. “Gray mode” is an option that can be easily activated in a phone’s settings, changing the display to monochromatic black and white. On gray mode, the colorful draw of those red alert bubbles and bright Instagram photos goes away. This tool can help anyone who wants to stop losing time to digital distraction.

If you have an iPhone you can activate “gray mode” by opening Settings, pressing “General,” then “Accessibility,” and switching the “Grayscale” button to “On.”  

gray Instagram screencolorful Instagram screenThe change can be made or reversed with a couple of clicks, and can save you (or your students) from falling into the vortex of emails, social media alerts, texts, and photos and videos that advertise themselves constantly to us on our devices. Since your phone no longer has to produce those bright colors, your battery will also last longer when gray mode is activated. Smartphones and tablets contribute tremendously helpful information to us instantaneously, but they can also remove us from the things that we need to focus on. Their constant pull creates not only a productivity problem, but a wellness problem. Separating ourselves from the flood of nonessential or non-urgent information available on these devices can ultimately promote better focus and greater peace of mind.