As a society, we’ve very quickly adopted the rituals of checking our mobile phones, checking our laptops, checking our tablets as many times a day as possible. We’ve been doing this for years now without really questioning what it is doing to our minds and our bodies. But what’s more, what is it doing to our time? We have such a short time on this planet as it is and we are wasting it scrolling through social media platforms and liking pictures of people we don’t even know. If you are tired of feeling like a slave to your phone, here are some ideas on how you can stop looking at it all the time.
The first thing you want to do is take a long, hard look at how much time you actually spend on your phone. What are the things you do on your phone on a regular basis? How many of those things are actually important to your job? Your life? Your family? Think about how you use your phone and then make a list of all the ways you could use your phone for productive things. Think about using the calendar more, or keeping your contacts organized, and even your photos can be stored easily on your phone or in the cloud. But beyond email, calendars, contacts and photos, what do we really need our phones for? Not much.
The next thing you want to do is go through the apps on your phone and remove any that you haven’t used in a while. Sure, this is about limiting your phone use outside of your actual calling and email time, but clearing the screen will help keep the clutter down. With less distractions on your mobile phone, you can see clearly what you are using your phone for.
Choose a few of your favorite sites and bookmark them so you don’t get caught up with distraction websites. If you are into cars, you might want to bookmark Jeremy Clarkson’s page, if you are interested in news, you’ll want to bookmark a news site, if you are interested in the weather, have the weather feed on your phone.
The final thing you want to do is set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Instead of checking your social media updates first thing in the morning, try reducing your screen time to at least after you have breakfast and are ready for work. Try implementing screenless Saturdays where you don’t pick up your mobile phone at all. Limit your screen time to one hour in the evening, including catching up on work emails. If we never put our phones down, we can never get any actual work done, personal or otherwise.
If you aren’t able to implement all of these suggestions, try implementing at least one or two to start. You’ll find that your mobile phone becomes less desirable the more you distance yourself from it so don’t worry about slipping up with old habits right away. It’s going to happen. Just remember that everyone else around you is doing it too and that can make it hard to break the habit. But ask yourself, and be as honest as possible here, is that how you want to spend your days?
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