Trying to find a way to have less phone time?
Smartphones have found a way to be an essential part of our lives. For most people, their phones are the first thing they look at in the morning, and the last thing they look at before falling asleep.
Features such as alarms, reminders, and other productivity apps can be a great way to foster and enhance our productivity.
However, phones can also be a major distraction considering the unlimited social media platforms and gaming apps that we can basically use for free. Several times I’ve found myself aimlessly scrolling through my phone for hours without even realizing the amount of time wasted.
According to research, an average American spends 5-6 hours a day on their phone. That is a quarter of the whole day.
And if we remove the time we spend sleeping, that is roughly a third of the time we are awake. Most phones now allow us to track our digital well-being so you can easily see how much time you spend on your phone.
It has been found that adults use their phones about twice as much as they think they do. So seeing the actual time you spend on your phone might come as a surprise to you.
Most phones have app timer options in the settings.
This timer limits the time you spent on certain apps. For instance, you can set a 30 mins timer for apps that you think distract you the most. After spending 30 mins on that app, you will no longer be able to access that app.
This allows you to control yourself and enjoy the app in moderation.
We do this when we are with other people, so why can’t we do it for ourselves as well?
Notifications are designed to bring your attention to your phone. This way, you are distracted from whatever you are doing just so you can look at that one notification.
Unfortunately, it does not always end with looking at one notification, you will see that your friend has posted something interesting and you feel the urge to respond.
You will also notice the trending topic and spend the next few minutes browsing through the app. This way, the company will make money at the expense of your productivity.
Turning off your notifications and keeping your phone face down redirects your attention from your phone allowing you to focus on what you need to do. This is a great way to focus on your priorities with minimum distractions.
There are several blockers that you can download and use to limit your screen time. Some will limit the number of apps you can access while others will actually lock you out of your phone for a specific time frame.
My personal favorite is Toma Todo. When using the strict mode, it locks you out of your phone for 25 mins then gives you a 5 min window to check your phone.
This means in 2hrs I get to focus on my work for 100 mins and only check my phone for 20 mins. This way, I am productive but can also respond to anything that requires my immediate attention.
Our phones have become such a big part of our lives to such as extent that we have to always have them.
If we reach into our bags and pockets and can’t find them, we immediately panic, thinking we have lost our phones. We can’t really imagine our lives without them.
But, next time you leave the house try leaving your phone behind. Go and enjoy nature in a park without your phone. At first, it might feel weird but after a short while, you will find yourself focusing on and appreciating things you wouldn’t have seen had you had your phone.
When your phone is out of sight, the eagerness to check on it reduces allowing you to be more productive.
So next time, leave your phone in your car or do not take it out of your bag the minute you get to your office. You will be surprised with how long you can go without checking on it.
If you look through your phone you will realize that there are some apps that you barely use or have used once and never again. These ones are easy to delete.
I am talking about the ones you use a lot to such an extent that they distract you. If you are finding it difficult to stop yourself from spending time on a certain app, eliminating access to that app can be a great idea.
This might seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. After a few days, you will look at the improvement in your productivity and mental health and be proud of yourself.
As you implement these tips and simplify your digital life, remember that the goal is not to punish yourself by depriving yourself of access to your phone.
Rather, the goal is for you to be more productive so that you tick things off your to-do list or be present at the moment without being distracted by your phone.