Did you know that the average person unlocks their phone 110 times every single day?
If that doesn’t seem like a lot to you, maybe you need to have to think about just how reliant you are on that little piece of technology. Addiction seems like a strong word. But for many, it’s something that they’ve simply fallen into, a subconscious behaviour that’s difficult to break. If you think you’re addicted to your phone, we can help. Have a look at some simple tips below, all of which can help you break the habit.
1. A 30-Minute Start
Using your phone in the first 30 minutes after you wake up is a pretty clear sign that you might be addicted. People tend to fall into this trap by using their phone as an alarm and then habitually (and often automatically) checking their emails or social media. The first step to breaking this addiction is to get a normal alarm clock and keep your phone in another room. Have a clear morning routine that doesn’t include your screens at all.
2. No Notifications
Constant buzzing from apps, messages and calls makes it easy to fall into the trap of constantly checking our phones, which indicates that it might be an addiction. To break this aspect of addiction, just switch all your notifications off. Without the constant reminders to check your phone, you might find that you won’t do it as much.
3. Phone-Free Zones and Times
If you’re finding that your addiction to your phone is stopping you from enjoying real life, it might be time to bring in phone-free times and zones. Set aside some time in the morning and the evening when your phone is just not around. This might be for the school run and the dinner routine so you can focus on your real life. Also, think about having some zones in your house where your phone doesn’t follow, like the bedroom and the bathroom. This is where people tend to phone binge.
4. Airplane Mode
Airplane mode is a very helpful tool in breaking a phone addiction as it takes away the ‘phone’ capabilities that often turn phones into addictive devices. All notifications are automatically stopped, you can’t make calls and you can’t receive calls or messages. It’s a great way to switch off the phone distractions when you need a time out.
5. Scrap Apps
There are some apps that always encourage us to spend too much time on our phones. Social networking apps are particularly bad offenders. Indeed, many Australians find the constant notifications from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too much to ignore. If you find this as well, it might make more sense to simply scrap the apps on your phone. If you can’t check it on your phone, you’ll spend less time over the day.
6. Real is Always Better
When it comes to life, real is always better. Keep this little motto in mind when you find yourself spending all day on your phone or thinking about checking it while in the company of real people. People deserve more of your attention than your phone and anti-social behaviours related to phone use are very indicative of addiction.
7. Set a Good Example
Of all the challenges associated with being a good parent, being a good role model for your kids is probably one of the hardest things. Remember that what your kids see you do, they will usually mimic, regardless of whether it’s good for their health. When kids see you constantly on the phone, they take it in their minds that they too can spend hours on screens, which is a hard habit to break.
8. Don’t Lose Sleep
Lots of adults have difficulty sleeping and there are many things that cause it. Phone use should not be one of them. If you’re staying up late to use your phone or you find yourself using it in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep as a distraction, stop now! The bright light from the screen makes sleep problems so much worse and it’s the behaviour of an addict. Get your phone out of the bedroom altogether and avoid the temptation.
9. Dedicate Yourself
Dedicating yourself to the goal of breaking a phone addiction can be tough. Ironically, one of the best tools out there to do it is actually a phone app. It’s called BreakFree, an app designed especially to stop you being addicted to your phone. With the app, you can track how many times a day you open your phone and what your overall usage is in minutes. You might be surprised just how addicted you are!
10. Enjoy the Moment
Using your phone is often about distraction. You want to distract yourself from being alone or awkward or simply bored. Well, we’ve got some news for you. Being alone and bored is part of the human experience! Ignoring it doesn’t make you a better human, it makes you less complete and more reliant on a soulless piece of technology. Next time you’re bored on a train, read a newspaper, have a conversation or simply people watch. See if you can see other phone addicts around you!
At the end of the day, a phone addiction is all about mind over matter. Focus on what’s good in your life outside of the phone and own those good things.
You’ll find yourself happier for the experience in the long run even though it can be tough at the start!