Our phones control us.
They do because they control our attention and time.
And, it is through our attention and time that we contribute to life.
So, unchecked cell phone usage, which research suggests is anywhere between 2.5 hours to 4 hours per day, can dent our contribution to work and society and hamper our growth and happiness.
This can be very harmful to those in their formative years.
If you like your relationship with your phone then no need to change it but if you don’t then read on to learn how you can improve it and take control of your life again.
Don’t start your day with your phone
Most people tend to start their day with a phone. And that is a tough battle to win because the apps on the phone are designed to keep you inside them once you are in. The best way is to stay away from them until you do something productive with your day.
Don’t end your day with your phone
To make sure that your phone usage does not mess with your sleep time, have a ‘put phone aside’ time at night. Keep it 1-2 hours before bedtime. Even better put it on airplane mode before going to bed.
Kill the reasons to be with your smartphone super early and late at night
Many of us use the alarm clock on the phone to wake us up. If this gets you to pick up the phone first thing in the morning, then get a separate alarm clock. At times we are scared of not being there for our loved ones so we don’t put it away. If that’s the case with you, then get a dumb phone for your near and dear ones.
Don’t sync your work laptop and phone
This is to ensure that you are not in 24×7 work mode which makes practicing connectivity hygiene even more difficult. If work phone is a necessity then get another personal phone for entertainment, social media and staying in touch so that you are at liberty of putting this phone away whenever you want.
Try living like you are still in the old world
Don’t use smartphones for all that you used to do without them earlier. Try finding about the food at a restaurant, or finding a location, as you used to in the old days ie by asking around. It has multiple benefits. It is a good workout for your brain, you may find it fun because it’s different, and it will keep you away from your phone.
Understand that the problem is not the mobile phone but the apps on it
Remove most of the apps on your phone. Limit yourself to 5-6 apps. You can pick one each for transportation, banking, food, fitness, buying stuff and entertainment.
Use your smartphone as a dumbphone
For a long time, I didn’t own a smartphone. My phone was technicality a smartphone but I never used it as one. I called it the dumb phone. And, life was good.
These days I tend to waste time on the phone, and I need to use my will power and mind to stay disciplined which I don’t always succeed in. So, I prefer the first option better. Not having a smartphone or using it as a dumbphone as I did.
I am curious about how you use your cell phone and how you make sure that it does not overpower your day and life? Write to me to share or discuss it.
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