The technology was meant to improve our lives, not ruin it. Our ever-increasing screen time is stopping us from enjoying and living our lives, be it on a phone, laptop or a tablet- but I think we can all agree on the fact that our mobile phones serve as the biggest distraction among them and all of us have become phone-junkies. It is time to counter this habit. Here, I have compiled ten tips for all of us to follow and break our addictions. So, shall we begin?
Fighting the Urge of Using Your Phone is Easier Than You Think 📵
Track Your Usage
One of the first things you have to do is to check and track your active screen time and look at your phone usage. Work along with your family to reduce your average screen time. This will make you realize how much time you actually spend on your mobile so that you can hold yourself accountable.
Use various mobile apps such as Quality Time, App Usage, RescueTime, Instant, Freedom to track your phone usage. These apps are considered the best in tracking the owner’s screen time.
Use Apps that Restricts Phone Usage
It is time to fight fire with fire. I have made a list of 8 apps that would help you set limits and restrict your screen time. Even though the concept is contradictory, it works wonders. Offtime, Moment, Breakfree, Stay on Task, Flipd, AppDetox, Block, Keep Me Out. These are some of the useful apps to restrict your phone usage.
Turn Those Notifications Off!
One of the most effective ways to keep out distractions is turning your notifications off. You can leave the notifications for calls on but blocking other apps such as WhatsApp (especially groups), Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, email etc helps immensely. You can download apps from the Appstore which will help you block distracting notifications.
Many phones now come in with a DO NOT DISTURB mode which does the job for you. Also, establish a “Call If It Is an Emergency“ policy so that there is nothing bothering you as you can rest assured that if something were to come up, you would be on a call right now.
Keep The Damn Phone Away!
Move your phones to some other place when you are watching something or on the TV or reading a book. You will always end up getting distracted by it if you keep it around. Give yourself a break while doing other activities so your checking the phone for “one minute” doesn’t end up with you stalking your ex’s new Instagram post instead of reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson.
Limit Your Browsing Hours
Time yourself with the help of a timer which is usually built in all the phones. Before you start checking your feed on Facebook or Instagram, think about how much time you want to spend on these applications, put it on the timer and keep the phone down when it rings. This will help you more than you can imagine. It will help you stick to your schedule better than before. You can also try turning your phone actually off when your browsing session ends and see if it works for you.
Maintain “No Phones in Bedroom” Policy
This is something extremely important. We never realize how hours pass by as we are scrolling through our feeds. Curate and maintain a “No Phones in The Bedroom” policy. To enforce this decision, use apps that block/ limit app usage. I have mentioned a few of those above. It helps you to stay on track and not drift away to social media. Keep these two points in mind:
1. I will not check my phone two hours before I drift off to sleep. 2. I will not check my phone the first thing in the morning.
Don’t Check Your Phone While Driving
Please, please, please do NOT check your phone while you are driving. Stick that damn thing in the glove compartment where it belongs. Phones these days also have Driving Modes where they automatically switch to voice controls so no matter what you say, you do not have to do it.
Proximity is Destiny
Studies show that when our obsessions/ temptations are quite far from us and we can not easily access them we are less likely to indulge in compulsions which basically translates to ‘We are all lazy’. So whenever you are studying or reading or just want to genuinely break your habit of using the phone too much, keep it away from you.
Don’t get too enthusiastic and leave it at your uncle’s place – keeping it in the next room will work fine. Whenever you find that you are getting obsessed over something or are tempted to do something, just pick it up and put it out of your sight. This will reduce your temptations as you will actually have to make an effort and get up to get your phone. This is also more effective when compared to leaving the phone there and constantly fighting your urges to pick it up.
This is one of the best tips on this page and I can personally vouch for it. I actually left my phone in the other room to work on this, because it is too much of a distraction for me.
Break the Phone Checking Cycle and Replace Your Habit with A Better One
You know when you are done with checking your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Snapchat et cetera, you end up going to Instagram again in case “something new might have come up”? This unintentionally forms a cycle which eventually gets extremely hard to break.
So now, what you have to do is check only one application at one time. This is will not neglect gratification to your temptations but will only delay and tame them which in turn will help you greatly in the long term.
Also, something we should probably talk about is how you don’t break habits, it is easier and more effective to replace them. We talked about proximity is destiny, right? Keep your phone in another room and keep a book on the coffee table next to you and see your life change.
Be Persistent and Patient
Be patient, grasshopper. There is no quick fix to something you spent years on making. Be patient and persistent with this process. Follow these tips religiously and soon enough you will notice a change in your lifestyle. It is scary how much effect this small gadget has on our lives.
So, how was it? Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know in the comment section below and share the article with your friends and family member. Thank you. 🙂