The rise of the smartphone has transformed the way lots of people run their business, communicate with friends and family and generally live their lives on a day to day basis. But it’s also true that smartphone use can prove disruptive—even addictive—if not checked. It’s been established that the average adult in the UK checks their phone around 150 times a day, hinting that smartphones have become an ever more invasive component in our lives. So, if you feel like your phone use has got out of hand (no pun intended), here’s a few ways you might change your habits to help to regain some of the time you’re presently devoting to your phone.
1. It’s highly likely that some of you reading this might not be able to recall the last time you actually switched your phone off. Even if you do this for just a couple of hours to help you concentrate on a task at work or at home, it can be extremely liberating to know that you have some uninterrupted time when you can’t just pick up your device and check it whenever you want.
2. If you know that you’re not going to be using your phone or don’t need to look at it for any good reason, you don’t need to have it next to you! Put it on the other side of the room or even in a different room altogether—that way you won’t be tempted to check.
3. If you find yourself checking your phone whenever you have a few seconds free, laying down some rules for when you’re not going to use your phone at all is a good way to break this habit. Clearly you shouldn’t be using your phone whilst driving, but the law still applies when you’re stopped at a red light or queuing in traffic. So how about agreeing that you won’t check it at all whilst you’re in your car, even when you’ve just parked. This will help create a phone-free space in your life. The same goes when you’re watching TV: if you find yourself sneaking a couple of device views during the ad breaks, stop yourself by getting up and doing something else.
4. One reason why many people check their phones so regularly is the vibrations or sounds they give off. Most of the time these aren’t significant—do you really need to know immediately that someone you used to go to school with has left a comment about a photo of your dog you put on Facebook? Turning off your notifications stops your phone from interfering with your life so often, helping you to reduce your screen time.
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