I am very grateful for the Smartphone and I think the reasons are obvious.
The Smartphone really has made communication easier, increased the flow of information and drawn the world closer.
However, we cannot deny that many of us, especially of the younger generation, are addicted to our phones.
Not only does it prevent human interaction, but we also spend averagely four hours a day on our phone. That’s roughly a day in a week.
And some people even spend more time than that on their phone.
I believe it is getting clearer that you need to spend less time on your phone. But how do we do this?
We might not know this because the effect of phone addiction is not as glaring as that of alcohol or drugs but there is something called phone addiction.
The earlier we admit we have a problem, the earlier we can find a solution.
How can you spend less time on your phone?
Here are 13 ways to spend less time on your phone:
13 SMART WAYS TO SPEND LESS TIME ON YOUR PHONE
1. Determine how much time you spend on your phone
The first step to finding a solution to any problem is first identifying the problem first. I believe the fact you are reading this shows you admit you know you have a problem with keeping your phone down.
However, we have to get even more specific. How much time do you spend on your phone? What do you do when you are on your phone? How much time will you like to spend on your phone?
You might not be able to identify the time you spend on your phone because it’s not that easy to keep track of the time once one is on the phone.
To be accurate, you can download apps like Moment or OFFTIME to help you determine the time you spend on your phone, so you can know how to go about reducing that.
2. Identify things you can do with your reclaimed time
Addicts are usually advised to replace the substance they abuse with something else. This is because there is a very strong chance they will go back to it if there is nothing else filling that void.
What are the activities you can do with your reclaimed time? If you leave it free, you are likely to go back to your phone for entertainment
Once you determine the activities, be intentional about it.
For instance, keep a book by your bed so you can easily reach it if you plan to read. Make plans with family and friends if spending time with them is something you decide to do and keep your phone out of reach.
Also, practice just doing nothing to observe your environment for small chunks of time at a time; you will be shocked how fulfilling it is.
3. Turn off notifications except for maybe calls and SMS
One of the things that actually keep us on our phones is replying messages or chatting. You can set time out of the day when you decide to reply to messages.
Other times when you decide to stay away, turn off notifications on all message apps except maybe your phone and SMS because those don’t come often and most people use that when they have an important message to pass across.
4. Keep apps away from the home screen
Keep apps, especially distracting apps, away from the home screen. We all know those apps that we are likely to open when we have our phones in our hands.
Keeping them from the home screen will make it easy for you to avoid opening them when you are just checking the time for instance.
5. Download apps that help you block apps
Apps like Freedom, Flipd and OFFTIME help you block access to specified apps and website. All you have to do is enable the apps when you are trying to stay away from certain distracting apps.
You can also schedule the specific time you are to have access and when you cannot.
An app like Freeze can also help you “freeze” certain apps so you don’t get notifications from them or see them on your screen. All you have to do is select the apps you want to freeze and remove them when you are ready to access them.
6. Create a speed bump
Putting a speed bump like a rubber band or hair band will make scrolling more difficult and it will give you time to question why you are on your phone at that time.
Are you doing anything important on your phone or is that the time you have scheduled to be on your phone?
7. Set a specific time for phone usage and set a reminder
You want to be productive and don’t want to spend all your time on your phone.
However, let’s be honest; expecting us to stay away completely is like expecting a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
Instead, we can choose a specific time when we must work and stay away from our phone and the time we can afford to stay on our phone.
But since it is easy to get carried away once we are on the phone, you should set a reminder on your phone to remind you that you have to get off your phone.
8. Set an auto-responder
You should activate the auto-responder, whether it comes with the phone or you have to download a third-party app.
With this tool, you will be able to reply to people when they send you a message without feeling anxious that you are not responding.
If it is urgent, people can reach you by calling.
9. Deliberately leave home without it
One of the hazards of phone addiction is that it has replaced human interaction and also made us lose touch with our environment.
Once in a while, we can deliberately leave home without it so we can actually enjoy where we are going.
However, I don’t think it is safe to be completely without a means of communication. So for safety reasons, you can get a smaller phone that isn’t a Smartphone to serve as an alternative.
10. Get other devices to use instead of your phone
Sometimes, we end up spending so much time on our phone from innocently checking the time or setting the alarm.
Buy a clock, a wristwatch, alarm clock or calendar so you don’t have to always consult your phone for this.
11. Temporarily delete apps
If you are spending too much time on an app that’s not earning you any income, you can take a break from it by deleting or disabling it, depending on your phone function.
I usually disable my Facebook app on my Samsung phone to reduce the temptation of going there.
This helps me to be away for as long as I want.
12. Turn off your internet for a specified time
Turning off your phone internet or WiFi will not only prevent notifications from coming in, but it’ll also reduce the temptation of using apps and visiting sites that require the internet.
This will help you to concentrate on tasks, thereby increasing your productivity.
13. Start small
Phone addiction is like any addiction; going cold turkey will be counterproductive. So, start small and work your way up.
Start by reducing the time you spend on your phone by 30 minutes and then an hour and so on. This way it will be easy to stay committed and get used to it.