10 TIPS FOR DETOXING FROM YOUR PHONE
Are you addicted to your phone? Do you carry it with you everywhere? Sleep with it at night? Respond to all notifications within 5 minutes? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may benefit from going on a phone detox.
A phone detox is an intentional effort to decrease your phone usage. And while it’s a great way to break your addiction, it can also be a little intimidating.
The below tips are easy, straightforward ways to help you complete a successful detox. Get started today and experience the joy of being unplugged:
1. DOWNLOAD A PHONE USAGE TRACKER APP
The most important step you can take to help detox from your phone is to download an application that tracks your usage. If you have an iPhone, there is a new Screen Time program already built into the latest upgrades. Other tracking apps include Moment, Quality Time, and Freedom. These phone monitoring apps allow you to track your usage throughout the day. It gives you a break down of how long you spend on your phone, the number of times you physically pick it up, and how long you spend on each app. Simply knowing this information is impactful. It gives you insight into your habits and allows you to set up successful strategies for your phone detox.
2. SET A PHONE USAGE GOAL
Once you have your tracking system in place, set a phone usage goal. Many tracking apps allow you to set limits on your screen time. They even give you the flexibility of selecting which apps you want to monitor. Set a goal that is realistic and easy to reach. The key to a successful detox is to build momentum. You don’t want to cut yourself off cold turkey just to go back to your old habits the next week. Start small and track your progress. Many people find that getting an accountability partner is very helpful. Team up with someone and tackle the detox together!
3. DON’T KEEP YOUR PHONE IN THE BEDROOM
Did you know that keeping your phone in the bedroom negatively effects your sleep? Do yourself a favor and keep it in the other room during bedtime. Not only will it improve your rest, but it’ll help you become less dependent on your phone. You will be amazed by how much better you feel and how productive and energized you’ll be the next day.
4. USE AIRPLANE MODE WHILE YOU WORK
Many people claim that cell phone usage prevents them from being as productive as they would like to be, especially at work. Don’t let yourself become distracted throughout the day. Keep your phone on airplane mode while you’re working. Better yet, store it in a drawer while you’re at your desk and don’t bring it with you to meetings.
5. SET UP TIME FRAMES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA
Instead of deleting social media from your phone or vowing to never look at it again, set up specific time frames for going online. Let yourself be on social media for as long as you want - but only during your predetermined time frame. This will allow you to still enjoy the benefits of your phone while stopping the mindless scrolling that tends to occur throughout the day. Simply being intentional with your usage will go a long way in helping you detox.
6. TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS
There are few things more distracting than a phone that is constantly buzzing and beeping. Do you really need an alert to tell you that your Aunt uploaded a new photo to Facebook or that there’s a sale going on at The Gap? Turn off your notifications and let yourself relax. You can still check your email as often as you like, but turn off your alert system. This will give you more time to focus on the things that truly matter.
7. DELETE OLD AND UNWANTED APPS
Take a second to go through and delete all the apps that you aren’t using or don’t truly enjoy. You’d be shocked by how many things we’ve downloaded that we don’t ever use. Clear your phone of any old and outdated applications and keep only the things that you’re actively using and bring you joy. If you’re feeling up to it, try deleting some of the apps that are the biggest time sucks. Do you really need to have Instagram on your phone? What about email? Could you play Candy Crush on your iPad instead? Par down your options and watch as your phone usage decreases.
8. FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO
We need to find something else to fill our time instead of mindlessly scrolling through our phones. What is a hobby or task you’ve been meaning to complete? Is there anything you can do to occupy the space in your mind that used to be filled up with your phone? For example, if your goal is to read more, you can make it a habit to pick up a book whenever you feel yourself itching to play a game on your phone. Simply replace one activity with another. Many people view scrolling on their phones as a leisurely activity. Find something you can replace it with that brings you joy.
9. TRY BEING OFF YOUR PHONE FOR A WHOLE DAY
Challenge yourself to go a whole day without looking at your phone. Too hard? Start smaller. Take it an hour at a time. Remind yourself of why you wanted to detox in the first place. Spending a whole day without your phone will remind you of the freedom you have when you’re not tied down to an electronic device. You’ll most likely enjoy and appreciate the experience, making you more likely to continue your detox habits.
One of the top phone time sucks is email. And that’s largely because we get so many messages that we don’t really need. And while you might not be able to do anything about Joe in Accounting and his weekly reports, you can unsubscribe to plenty of emails that find their way in to your inbox. A great (free!) tool to do this is through Unroll Me. Unroll Me compiles a list of all your subscription emails and lets you unsubscribe from the ones you’re no longer interested in. It’s a great way to keep the clutter out of your inbox.
Going on a phone detox is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. The above tips will help you get started.