How We Scale

Who's the Tool?

Published 6 months ago • 1 min read

Howdy, Zack here.

Have you ever stopped to consider who's in control — you or your phone?

Phones are incredible tools, aren't they? They connect us, inform us, and even entertain us. But here's a question that often gets overlooked: Are we controlling our phones, or are they controlling us? If it's the latter, we're the tool, not our phone.

I've been pondering the true cost of our phone addiction. Sure, it's a personal issue, but its ripples extend deep into our professional lives, too. The truth is, excessive phone usage is stealing something invaluable from us — our time.

A couple of years ago, I embarked on a mission to declutter my phone. I was determined to pare down the number of apps and minimize distractions. It worked... for a while. But just like a garden, without regular tending, it grew wild again. My phone slowly morphed back into a vortex of wasted time.

Think about it. How many hours do you spend scrolling aimlessly, chasing dopamine hits from notifications, or just 'checking' something? Those hours could have been spent learning a new language, being present with loved ones, investing in your health, or driving your business forward. It's not just about the time spent; it's about the opportunities lost.

We often justify our phone usage as 'necessary' or 'productive.' But if we're brutally honest, isn't it often just a convenient escape? A way to avoid the harder, more rewarding tasks?

So, what can we do to break this cycle of addiction and reclaim our time?


  • App Audit & Limit Settings
    Pare down your apps each quarter. Keep only what’s essential and use your phone's built-in tools to set usage limits. These tools aren’t just for kids; they're for anyone wanting to reclaim their time.
  • Intentional Unplugging
    Set specific times of the day for phone-free activities. Whether it's during meals, workouts, or family time, make these moments sacred and non-negotiable. And don't let a quick check turn into an hour-long scroll.
  • No Bedside Phones
    One game-changer for me is removing my phone from the bedroom. If you need it for an alarm, keep it across the room. This simple act can revolutionize your sleep and morning routine.

Just remember:
Use the tool, don't be the tool. The power to change our habits is in our hands — quite literally. 🤳


  1. 📱 Phone Breakup — Catherine Price's 30-day course to end your phone obsession.
  2. 😌 Minimalist DIY — How to create a custom minimalist iPhone. Or, for Android.
  3. ☕️ Ratio 8 — Stumbled across this beauty. The perfect evolution of my pour-over.

Until next Wednesday, let’s challenge ourselves to be the masters of our phones, not the other way around. Here's to seizing back control! What steps will you take to master your phone usage this week?

How We Scale

Written by Zack Swire. Illustrated by Jenna Brown.

Gain the lessons and hard-fought wins that help my clients go from Stuck to Scaling, earning Millions more & becoming Best Places to Work. No AI, just stories from my journey as an entrepreneur, executive coach, and dad of triplets + Jenna brings our key takeaway to life in a simple sketch. Grab a cup of joe and join us!

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