How do we curb our phone addictions?
It's no secret that nowadays most of us spend a lot of time on our phones. In fact, some studies show that the average adult checks their phone every 15 minutes or less, even when they don't have any notifications popping up. Not only is this distracting you from work, friends or family time, but research has shown that our compulsion to check apps increases anxiousness, while passive social media use can actually have a negative impact on our mood. So, how do we curb our phone addictions? We're glad you asked...
1. OUT OF REACH
With so many of us using our phones as alarms, it means it's constantly within arm's length, so it's often the last thing we look at at night and the first thing we reach for in the morning. Kicking your phone out of the room to charge elsewhere overnight and opting for a regular alarm clock ensures you can concentrate on sleeping, reading or relaxing without any distractions.
2. NO PHONES FOR THE FIRST 30-60 MINUTES
Speaking of first thing in the morning, not touching your phone for the first 30-60 minutes of your day helps remove it from your regular routine. Bombarding yourself with notifications starts your day off with heightened stress levels and can leave you feeling distracted. Instead, take this time to prep yourself for a productive day by prioritising your tasks, journaling or having breakfast.
3. PUT DOWN ROOTS
There are a few apps for both iPhone and Android that help limit your screentime, but we're pretty fond of Forest. Forest helps you unplug from your phone by planting virtual trees instead. The more time you spend not checking your apps, the more coins you build up, which can then be used to plant real trees in Africa alongside Trees For The Future. You can customise how long you want to be off your phone for and if you fail and check your other apps, your cute virtual tree will die. Ouch.
4. SAY NO TO NOTIFICATIONS
Every time our phones chirp or light up, we automatically get pulled out of what we're doing, which can seriously limit productivity. The easiest way to keep yourself on track is to turn off your notifications. Head to your app settings to turn off any that aren't essential or go all out and switch on Do Not Disturb during sleeping or working hours.
5. GO OUTSIDE
When was the last time you didn't have your phone on you? Most of us tend to have it in our bag or pockets at all times, even when we're trying to take a break from our screens. Next time you head out for a lunchtime walk, leave your phone at home and enjoy the peace and quiet around you instead.
6. SCHEDULE CHEAT MOMENTS
It's not going to be easy. Smartphones are so ingrained in our lives that you may still find yourself reaching for your phone out of habit. Much like cheat days, scheduling in cheat moments to check your phone can be a great way to wean yourself off and increase your chances of success rather than going cold turkey.