I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced the feeling of jealousy because we saw someone on our social media feed who was living the life we wish we were. I think it’s also safe to address the fact that maybe if we had the willpower to put away our phone, we would be living our lives more fully.
Here are a couple strategies and ideas for you to overcome a phone addiction and have the free time to live your life.
1. Set goals for yourself
It’s hard to do anything productive if you don’t have a goal in mind. How do you know where you want to be in the future if you don’t set a benchmarker? Give yourself reasonable time to change, but as you continually give yourself a new challenge, you will see progress. Maybe it’s limiting your phone time each day by thirty minutes? You decide!
2. Limit your apps
Try going through each app you have and delete the ones you know are not necessary or that you rarely use. It might feel like you’re parting with a childhood toy, but you can do it. It’s just an app.
3. Utilize the phone
Maybe instead of letting the phone control you, you control the phone. Make it work for you. Find a skill, talent, trade, and then find ways to enhance your phone to benefit you.
4. Get a hobby
Clarification: For the sake of limiting phone time, Netflix (or anything similar) doesn’t count as a hobby. Find something fun or intriguing to you that doesn’t involve your screen. Handcrafts, active sports, word games, academic skills, books, etc. are a few options. Find your niche and take off with it.
5. Build/maintain relationships
Don’t forget that the person sitting next to you on the couch has a life, too. Start a conversation and hear about their day. Maybe you can learn something from them or even gain a better friendship by communicating face-to-face.
6. Download time-keeping apps
Apps like Moment and QualityTime are meant to prove to us the real phone habits we have. These apps track the time spent on the phone. They don’t judge, they just show the numbers. There are settings to help challenge you with goals to stay away from your phone and live your life. This app would be an example of something you don’t delete when cleaning out your phone.
7. Do not respond to every beck and call
If it beeps at you, you don’t have to answer. Sure, eventually you can get back to it (I mean, we can’t change the fact that this is the 21st century) but don’t be its slave. Whoever or whatever it is can wait. Be in the moment when you’re with a real-life person.
8. Practice personal space
Don’t believe the lie that the new generation is “inseparable from their phones.” It’s a choice. There are hard parts of breaking a habit, and this is probably the hardest part. But leaving your phone in a different room, especially during parties and family gatherings, is a good place to start.
Don’t beat yourself up if you struggle. Addictions and habits are hard to beat. Keep trying and keep living your life and the phone will become an asset to your success and adventures instead of a slave driver.