UNICEF – seriously, UNICEF? – has released an app called PlayTimer which is specifically built to make you put that bloody iPhone down and go play with your kid:
Together with your child you can set how long you are going to play for and then take your child’s photo to set the playtimer. This will then lock your phone and show a black screen. If the phone is touched in locked mode – say, by a parent checking their work email – an alarm will go off. You can only turn the alarm off by taking another picture of your child – proof that you’re still playing with them. (In case of emergency, you will still see incoming calls and can make emergency calls, as no app has the power to over-ride your phone lock settings.)
It's similar to the Jerry Seinfeld Technique (now famously denied by Seinfeld who says he has no idea where it came from or why it's named after him) and it's similar to my own Bad Days advice. So that's three people or three entire philosophies in agreement: can it possibly be wrong?
No apologies for this: you’re right, it’s a very old productivity video tip. It’s, like, two years old now. And no apologies for the fact that I only know about it because Lifehacker.com just plucked it back up out of their archives. Pam Selle gives a very persuasive argument about not working long hours: I mean persuasive, I’m can feel myself being persuaded. And I love this stuff. I also work from home, so, you know, the detail may not apply to me but I’m suspecting the idea does.
You’ve got the idea now: she is nothing if not clear about this. But read more about it, about that particular event and about her on Pam Selle’s own website.