Let’s first talk about me and my smartphone,
Sometime back, I realized that, before I got a Smartphone, I was more efficient, productive, and able to focus. I rarely got stressed up and was able to focus on one thing at a time. When my parents said they wanted to get me a smartphone for security purposes among others, you can imagine how happy I was; holding a smartphone for the first time in my life but I did not know what was ahead of me.
A few months later, I realized that I was getting less and less productive. I started spending most of my time using my phone; I could not let my phone down for 3 minutes, and I started leaving out some important stuff I was supposed to do simply because I wanting to watch a few more videos on social media. Worst of all, I started to sleep late not knowing what was keeping me up on my phone; I started forgetting things, and before I knew it, I was already a phone addict.
The good news is that I took notice of my new unhealthy habit and acknowledged its negativity. Then decided to try a few things that I thought would help me. I realized that the problem was not about having a smartphone but rather the way I was managing it. The main question then became: Do I control my smartphone or does my smartphone control me?”
So, below are 4 simple ways which help me to overcome my phone addiction – I believe they will help you too:
1. Get your alarm from a real alarm clock – not from your phone
It sounds funny but when your phone alarm rings, your hand is more susceptible to touch it in less than 5 seconds simply because you are used to the idea. And as you pick it up, you are immediately prone to check the notifications too. Soon, you are jumping from app to app. At that time your brain is still in sleeping moods, meaning whatever feeling you get from those notifications and messages will affect your productivity levels that day. You get tired very fast, and small things stress you. Yet if you had an analog alarm clock, you would simply wake up, shut it off and move on to other activities.
2. Mute unnecessary notifications
Your phone probably has many applications. Most of these applications send their notifications to your phone and every time a notification comes in, you are alert and this pushes you immediately to check on your phone. Now what happens is that you are doing something else which you leave behind for a moment as you are checking what is happening on your phone, your mind gets divided, you no longer focus on what you have been doing, what happens next is that you will no longer produce the same quantity and quality you were supposed to because you are no longer focused and did not get time to finish one thing to go for the other and before even you know it sometimes you do not get to fulfill your to-do list because you got busy on what you found on your phone when the notification came in. So muting your notification will not only increase your productivity levels but will as well enable your brain to focus.
3. Put your focus on the person you are talking to, not your phone
Communicate without touching your phone. Maintain the relationship that you used to have back before you got your smartphones. Communicate with your neighbors, face to face. And when you go out with friends, agree on a rule to put all your smartphones aside. You may think excess use of your smartphones helps you socialize better, but actually, it interferes with your relationships. Every time you are at a dinner table or holding a conversation with someone, put your phone away for a while until the conversation is done. Give it a try and thank me later.
If you are awaiting an important call or message, at least put all notifications in vibration mode while and have time to focus on the person in front of you. There are now applications such as Freezer or Do-not-disturb that can help you freeze some applications that might disturb you. When you can’t see the app on your phone the probability of clicking on it is minimized. Try it this week!
4. Don’t go in bed with your smartphone
One thing you need to understand is that there are many sicknesses that arise from the excessive use of a smartphone. First, the blue lights that the smartphone emits, especially in total darkness, affect not only your eyesight but also your brain’s functionalities. It interferes with your sleep cycle and may give you endless headaches. Consequently, the blue light creates fatigue that makes you less productive.
On that, you add the psychological trauma that comes from mindlessly scrolling through newsfeeds and comparing your life with others’. It’s has been proven to be very damaging, believe me. Worse of all, you also get neck pains caused by constantly bending your neck to look at the screen.
I can go on and on with the list of negative results associated with the excessive use of your smartphone, but I’m going to trust that you have understood my point. I’m also still struggling, but at least, I try to detox. Challenge yourself this week too.
Remember: “It is not about having or not having a smartphone, it is about how you use it.”