How can I stop being so addicted to my phone?
To help you reduce your dependency on your phone, we asked 11 business leaders and tech experts this precise question. From setting screen time goals to practicing mindfulness, we uncovered several tips that may help you decrease your phone usage, and be more independent from all your technology.
Here are 11 ways you can stop being so addicted to your phone:
- Get a Watch
- Set Screen Time Goals
- Have Open Hours
- Remind Yourself That Your Have More Than One Tool
- Restrict App Notifications
- Find Your Phone Triggers
- Keep Extending Your “No Phone” Time
- Be An Active User
- Practice Mindfulness
- Social Media Fastening
- Implement Cut-Off Times
Get a Watch
Cell phone addiction can stem from a variety of reasons from social media, texting, selfies, and everything in between. The best way to curb your dependence on your phone is to invest in other tools that can perform the same function – for instance, a watch. Think about how many times you pick up your phone to check the time and then end up scrolling for another 10 or 15 minutes. That time really adds up! By investing in a watch, you can avoid the initial impulse to check your phone.
Dale Gillespie, Tic Watches
Set Screen Time Goals
Every Sunday morning I receive a notification on my iPhone alerting me to my weekly usage. Each week, I set a screen time goal to use my phone for less than one hour per day. My Sunday morning alert lets me know how I did for the week and provides me with a summary of where I spent the most time. Whether your screen time goal is one hour like mine or something more accommodating to your lifestyle, setting a weekly goal is one way to limit screen time and measure success.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Have Open Hours
Just as retail stores and restaurants have “open hours” so should your phone. Phones should be closed the first 30 to 60 minutes of your day, during your busiest work hours (unless the use is work-related), when having daily in-person interactions and finally one hour before bed. Maintaining these “open hours” should help you be less dependent on your phone.
Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces
Remind Yourself That Your Have More Than One Tool
We are fortunate to have many tools at our disposal, yet we seem to be focusing on using just one: our cell phone. Email is still a valid and effective way to communicate, especially when pertinent details are involved. Email also gives you documentation, which in the world of HR is important. Reading Emails via a mobile device is dangerous and often leads to major typos, blunders and embarrassment. We have to remember to have these tools serve us, not enslave us. They have their place, and we need to use them properly. And when we can, let’s have discussions in person!
Lorraine Bossé-Smith, Concept One LLC
Restrict App Notifications
Let’s face it, phones will never go away nor will our attraction to them. So, the trick is learning how to manage your addiction. I have trained myself not to look at my phone while on video conference calls. Most importantly, I restrict my app notifications during work hours which helps decrease my urges to look at every message that I receive, and I often use the Do Not Disturb feature throughout the day to focus and complete tasks. The silence button also comes in handy with my husband when I want to give him my undivided attention.
LT Ladino Bryson, vCandidates
Find Your Phone Triggers
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to get rid of habits, but you can keep them under control if you are aware of them and what’s causing them. Start with simple things like leaving your phone outside of your bedroom or not putting it on the table when you are eating. If your phone is around you, you might put it upside down not to see the screen all the time. Try to think about triggers that make you pick up the phone. If you find the ones that you can eliminate, try to do it. As an example, you can mute some of your notifications or, if you have a smartwatch, consider unlinking it from your phone.
Tom Winter, Eye One
Keep Extending Your “No Phone” Time
The best thing you can do is stop looking at your phone first thing in the morning. To achieve this, consider putting it in a different room before you go to sleep. Now you have effectively designed your environment so that you cannot look at your phone when you wake up. Now, set a goal of not looking at your phone for the first hour of your day, every day. Once this is a habit, extend it until lunch. This will be tough in the beginning, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail. Simply try again tomorrow. Also, opt to leave it out of your sight whenever you’re doing something else. Research has shown that when our phones are within sight, e.g. on the table, you become less engaged with whatever you’re doing, whether that’s work or a conversation with a friend.
Paw Vej, Financer.com
Be An Active User
Becoming a sensible phone user requires rewiring the pathway of interaction. Reclaiming the ownership of this process means that each instance of using your mobile phone is your own conscious decision. When you don’t want to use your mobile device, mute it, disable vibrations, put it out of your sight, or even consider turning the flight mode on.
Michael Sena, Senacea
For many of us, checking our phones has become a habit we can no longer control. It’s just normal to look at any new email, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn notification. Many people notice that they are never truly present, have problems with concentration and suffer from the harmful effects of multitasking. My advice is to start practicing mindfulness. While meditation sessions are great for our mental well-being, they’re just one element of the process. The essential part lies in reprogramming your brain to focus on one single activity at a time and not letting other things distract you. If you cook dinner, you cook dinner and don’t check your phone. When you play with your kids, you are not looking at your Facebook news feed. It’s a good idea to set a specific time when you look at your phone and stop using it “in-between” your other daily tasks. After a while, you will notice that you are less tired and can use your free time more satisfyingly.
Dorota Lysienia, LiveCareer
Social Media Fastening
One way to stop being addicted to your phone is by doing “social media fasting”. I first implemented this method after reviewing my screen time history. I was shocked to see the number of hours that I spend on social media daily, and I realized that I could have spent this time on something more productive that would bring real value to my life. I knew it wouldn’t be possible for me to delete all my social media apps forever, so I decided to take a one-week break once a month. This is a great method because it works as a cleansing or detox, and it made me feel less guilty when I inevitably installed these apps again. I also realize that these breaks help me find new ways to entertain myself, so even when I’m off my “social media fasting” period, I don’t spend that much time on my phone because I have new activities that keep me occupied.
Jessica Ulloa, MyPerfectResume
Implement Cut-Off Times
Phone addiction is real. As the owner of Sahara Case, I am constantly checking my phone for emails, site performance and sales. It can be so difficult to pull yourself away from your phone when you run a business. However, it can be done! A trick that I use to stop being a phone addict is to set aside a time where I stop checking my phone for anything business-related. For me, my cut-off time is 7 PM. Any time after that is devoted to my personal life, and putting away my phone helps me promote my work and life balance.
Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case