Our phones are an escape from reality. We turn to them to avoid the tension of waiting.
Immediate gratification helps numb the stress of the moment. It also impedes our progress at work, relationships, and our innovation in general.
As Simon Sinek points out in the video below, the two things that take the most time to develop are our jobs and communication skills. There's no app to help us succeed at these difficult and messy things other than our willingness and patience.
All the time spent staring at screens instead of observing our surroundings impede the serendipitous discoveries that lead to innovation. How can we think of new ideas when we're preoccupied with a bright shiny object?
Our willpower is weak. To strengthen it, we can start by changing our habits. We can leave the phone behind when we go to dinner with friends and replace apps with a real alarm clock.
A phone is a convergence machine. It can do and be everything, yet get in the way of what's important. There's no way around the fact that good things take time which needs us to play the long game. We have to find enjoyment in this slow but steady process called life.