We are living in an era where people are spending up to five hours a day watching their phones, yet everyone is too busy to fix their life’s fundamentals. It’s time to get rid of our smartphone addictions.
Mastering the basics of life takes time and requires discipline. A smartphone addiction wracks havoc on both of them because it depletes your time and dopamine.
The first step after realizing you are addicted to your smartphone, is start implementing measures to get rid of it.
If you don’t realize it yet, just open the screen time app on your phone and draw your conclusions.
I managed to lower my screen time to one hour a day with these five simple tricks:
- I turned off all notifications
- I deleted all social media apps
- I don’t read email on my phone
- I’m not always available
- I leave my phone in another room
Do this for one month and see your phone addiction fade away.
I turned off all notifications
Every notification disturbs your concentration. I disabled all of them because absolutely nothing is ever urgent, otherwise they’d have called you.
Companies that make apps want you to enable notifications because if they can notify you, then you are likely to spend more time with their app and they can profit from your attention.
When I’m reading, I want to read. When I’m cooking, I want to cook. When I’m working out, I want to work out.
You may want to critically rethink which notifications you really want to receive anymore. For me this is my banking app only.
I deleted all social media apps
No one ever regretted not having enough Instagram followers at the end of their life. Yet most people are living their life as if that’s the only thing that matters.
Social media apps are developed to make you addicted, feeling insecure and inadequate. You keep scrolling while time passes rapidly.
Yet nothing important ever happens on social media. It only makes you feel worse and gives you FOMO.
Deleting all those apps from your phone already solves half of the problem. Just don’t login anymore and see how much time you save.
Pick your networks wisely. If doesn’t bring you anything, abstain from using it.
I don’t read email on my phone
If it was urgent, it wouldn’t have been an email.
Why would you want to read email when you are hanging around with friends, having diner or exercising?
I deleted the Gmail app from my phone a few years ago and tend to read my email only twice a day, replying all mails directly and adding new tasks to my public todo list.
I’m not always available
Instant messaging is a nice way to stay in touch with friends, yet it’s a time killer at the same time.
Conversations are never ending and the faster you respond to messages, the more time it sucks up.
By not being available all day, and only reading messages twice or thrice a day, people don’t get used to quick replies.
Call it expectation management.
If you are replying immediately all the time, they expect you to do so all the time, and you keep texting all the time.
I leave my phone in another room
71% of people sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand, and 40% of people check their smartphone while on the toilet.
You might want to complicate life a bit, to make it harder to mindlessly grab your phone at any moment of distraction.
I do this by leaving my phone in another room all day. The simple fact that you have to walk to another room and open the door to take solely a look at your phone, ensures that you are more aware of it and that crushes screen time.