Smartphones are magical.
A device that’s small enough to fit in your pocket, allows you to instantly communicate with virtually anyone on earth, take breathtaking photos, and access humanity’s collected knowledge. Amazing!
But like any magical implement, the smartphone’s power can be so consuming that all you want to do is stare into its comforting, glowing, little screen.
Unsurprisingly a growing number of people feel disconcerted with the insatiable pull their phones exercise on them, and are unhappy with the amount of time and attention they give to these devices in return.
Below are such a game plan with all the tools and techniques you might consider implementing in order to get a handle on your smartphone habit.
The Negative Effects of Chronic Smartphone Use
For many folks, checking and twiddling with their smartphone has become a habit boarding on addiction.
Yet research shows that heavy smartphone use can also have a deleterious effect on several different aspects of our lives:
- Loss of empathy and connection with others
- Loss of sleep.
- Loss of focus and the ability to do deep, meaningful work.
- Loss of the ability to be fully present in your life.
How to Break the Smartphone Habit
Are you tired of being unable to really engage in conversations with your friends because you’re always checking your phone?
Do you feel guilty about how often your kids catch you staring at a screen when you should be interacting with them?
Are you sick of ending each day bemoaning your utter lack of focus and productivity at work, and how little progress you’re making on your goals?
While the bad news is that chronic smartphone use can have a negative impact on your life, the good news is that research demonstrates that the restless, distraction-producing itch they exercise on us can be reversed.
It just takes some work and discipline to get a handle on your habit. Here’s how to do it:
- Perform an Audit on Your Cell Phone Use
The first step in breaking the smartphone habit is to measure how much time you’re actually spending on your phone throughout the day.Just seeing hard numbers on how much time you’re spending on your phone can affect your use.
- Going Nuclear, or Getting a “Dumbphone”
It’s been a week, and you have a good idea of how much you’re using your smartphone and what apps you’re using.Maybe you’re so appalled by the results of your smartphone audit that you decide the best course of action is to completely chuck your smartphone altogether and downgrade to a rudimentary “dumbphone” that just allows you to make calls and send simple text messages.
- Making Your Smartphone Dumber
After seriously considering ditching the smartphone, you’ve decided owning a dumbphone just isn’t going to be a viable option for you.Maybe your work requires you to answer email from your phone and use other apps. Or maybe you like being able to snap high-quality pics of your kids using your phone’s built-in camera.The question then becomes how do you take advantage of all the benefits that come with your smartphone while not getting sucked into the smartphone-checking habit? The answer is to make your smartphone dumber.
- Turn off notifications
The easiest thing you can do to instantly reduce the itch to check your smartphone is to turn off notifications.One of the things that makes these devices so irresistible to check are the pings, buzzes, and flashing lights that go off whenever you get a new email.You can curb this technological salivation by getting rid of notifications. You’ll be amazed how this one little change will dramatically reduce how often you check your smartphone.
- Turn off cellular data and wifi
Let’s assume you’ve turned off notifications, but you still have the itch to pick up your phone to check email or other apps.You can change the settings on your smartphone to make it temporarily dumb for certain periods of time. All you need to do is turn off your cellular data and wifi.When you turn these services off, you’ll still be able to make calls and send simple text messages.
I hope this guide will help you get a handle on your own smartphone habit, so you can use your phone in a way that maximizes its benefits and minimizes its drawbacks.
Give these apps and techniques a try if you’re looking to be a more productive, industrious, and successful man.
Be the master of your technology, not its slave!
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Pass it on: Popular Science