His reason is a brilliant example of emotional Intelligence and we believe his email strategy is the greatest I’ve seen so far.
Ed Sheeran said in a recent podcast conversation with Ben Clymer of Hodinkee that he hasn’t owned a cell phone since 2015. It’s not an iPhone. This isn’t a Google Pixel. Not even a flip phone, which you can get if you look hard enough.
“It’s astonishing that you can exist in today’s world without a phone,” Clymer observed, echoing a sentiment shared by most of us. Sheeran’s response, on the other hand, demonstrated a high level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
Sheeran responded, “I felt really, really overwhelmed and sad with a phone, and I just spent my whole time in a very terrible place.” “It felt like a curtain had been lifted when I got rid of it.”
The most common initial concern is how can someone stay connected in a world when a smartphone has become an extension of itself. Given his schedule, that would appear to be a priority for someone like Sheeran. It would appear that not having a smartphone, let alone any cell phone, is a major issue.
If you’re anything like me, the first thought that came to your mind was probably something along the lines of: How do you answer text messages without a phone? What about exchanging information regarding work projects? What method do you use to post to social media?
“I have an email,” Sheeran explained, “and every few days, I’ll sit down and open up my laptop and answer 10 emails at a time.” “I’ll send them off and shut down my laptop, and that’ll be the end of it. Then I’ll get back to living my life without feeling burdened.”
The phase where he returns to “loving life” is crucial. By the way, it might be the best email technique I’ve ever heard. Right now, I have 547 unread emails in my inbox, and I’m doing my best to remove everything by the end of the day. That has only been the case since this morning. I’m not sure how many emails a Grammy-winning musician receives.
Sheeran, on the other hand, does not let technology get in the way of living his life. He determined that the best way to accomplish this was to avoid allowing his smartphone to become a source of distraction—or, worse, anxiety.
I believe everyone can connect to his description of how he came to that place if we’re honest enough to admit it:
Isn’t it possible that I could strike up a discussion with you over dinner? And we’re getting down to business, talking about some serious issues. In addition, my phone has the ability to vibrate in my pocket. I’m not even glancing at my phone. Who is that, I wonder? I’m curious as to who that person was. What was that rumbling sound? Oh, and there’s one more. I now have two texts, which may or may not be significant. Is it necessary for me to check my phone? No, I shouldn’t check my phone because I’m having a chat with Ben. And, while I’m listening to you, I’m also thinking about it.
I mentioned at the outset that I thought this was a fantastic example of emotional intelligence, and here’s why.
Sheeran not only had enough self-awareness to understand the negative impact of having a smartphone that made him always available on his mental health, but he also took action to rectify it.
Sure, some people think getting rid of a cell phone is a big deal. Many people rely on their iPhone or Android cellphone to communicate with the people that matter most to them. Many people use it as their primary work device. It would be difficult to keep connected if you gave up your phone.
That is, however, the point for Sheeran. “The best part about it, aside from my mental health and feeling better about everything, is the uninterrupted time I get to spend with the people I love,” Sheeran remarked.
Being constantly connected is not a virtue. It won’t help you get better at what you’re doing. In many circumstances, it may actually make you a worse friend, spouse, coworker, or parent if it causes you to miss out on what’s going on around you.
I understand that most individuals will not give up their iPhones. However, if you find that the device you carry is causing you to worry or lowering the quality of your relationships with people who are important to you, it may be time to make a change.