02 Aug These three clever tricks will help get you off your phone
For many of us, the main practical step to a successful digital detox is managing to spend enough time away from our phones. With so much of our lives available at our fingertips, it’s not surprising that we can sometimes find it difficult to extract ourselves from “the tiny tyrant in our pocket”. There are ways to not only reduce this dependency but also create a more productive and healthy phone usage. Here are three clever tricks that will help you get off your phone.
#1 Turn Off Push Notifications
In a world where there are a million-and-one different apps to regulate our every whim, constant notifications keep us alert but also tied to our phones in an unhealthy way. Going entirely cold turkey and shutting off all distractions would probably be the most extreme version, but for most this is impractical. A good middle ground would be only having notifications for apps that are necessary for daily functions such as Uber, Gmail and other utility apps. The regulation of notifications is by no means a one-size fits all approach and can be managed differently depending on your needs. Whether a small or big change, turning off push notifications will allow for more freedom away from your phone and will allow you to focus on more important information.
#2 Keep Phones Out of the Bedroom
Good sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health, but with the advent of phones in the bedroom and living areas of our homes, research shows that our sleep duration and quality are suffering like never before. Having no phone usage in general in the hours before you go to sleep is one approach to take, with the obvious upside of reducing anxiety before bed. A useful halfway house could also be using the Night Shift feature (or similar) that shifts the colour of the screen during certain hours of the night in order to facilitate a better night’s sleep. Whatever works best, keeping phones out of the bedroom is an ideal way to create boundaries for phone usage and have a better quality of sleep.
#3 Hold Yourself Accountable
If you have no way to judge your phone usage, it’s impossible to see any improvement in overall viewing habits. Most models and makes of smartphones now come with a ScreenTime settings page that allows the user to schedule downtime and app limits. Even if this is not exactly to your taste, there are plenty of applications such as QualityTime or Freedom that perform more or less the same task. Holding oneself to account need not be just on apps of course. You can also have set periods in the day to stop phone usage (meals for instance) and the aforementioned no phones in the bedroom rule. Whatever the method is, self-accountability will allow you to measure progress off your phone and towards a more healthy relationship with tech.