25 TIPS for getting some of your time back and gaining control of your phone-use.
My hope is that you’ll find at least one of these tips, ideas and resources helpful. There are probably 100’s more (and better ones), but there are enough here to get you started. If you have any ideas that you’d like for me to add to this list, please send them to me thru the form below (I’d love to add to this list).
Practice finishing a conversation without looking at your incoming text(s). In addition, try conditioning yourself (when you’re by yourself) to not look at your incoming texts immediately. You’re in control of your time—others don’t always need to jump into your world (via text) and accost your time. If we don’t learn to take control of our time, others will be happy to control it for us.
Try to determine the “why” behind always picking up your phone. Are you trying to escape something? Are you wanting to feel the need to be validated by a post or a tweet or a picture? Are you bored? What’s the “why?” behind your action? Most likely something is driving you to this distraction… you might as well know what it is so you can attempt to heal/fix/change it.
Identify your “looping” movements (i.e. I check email, then Twitter, then Instagram, then Facebook, then Snapchat, then I repeat the loop… ). These habitual loops become a black hole of wasted time. After you identify, see #13 below (in DO)
Make a list of things you really want to do if you had more time. Look at that list daily… think about these actions, get excited about accomplishing them if you had the time, add to this list regularly. Begin to take note of how often you get distracted for 30 minutes looking at your Social Media apps instead of doing what you really want to do.
Make a self-governing goal for every new follower/friend on Social Media that you delete one. The more you follow the more time it takes to review/read their posts.
How much would you pay for an app (let’s pick Instagram). Would you pay $20 a week for it? No! How much time do you spend on Instagram every week? Divide that time by how much you make working during that same time. There’s your cost for using Instagram.
Put a Bee Present sticker or some other speed bump reminder on the back of your phone. If you must have your phone out during a meeting, turn it upside down to be reminded to be present.
Put an auto response on your text messages that says you’ll do your best to respond as soon as possible, but you’re currently away from your phone. Repeat after me: “I do not have to respond right away.” [Apple iOS 11 has a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature that can also be used when you want to take a break from your phone.]
Assign times for a digital Sabbath/rest/fast (whatever you want to call it)… where you separate from your phone daily, weekly, monthly. Increase your time allotments until you get to a point where you actually look forward to being untethered.
Disable all notifications so that everything happening behind the scenes doesn’t end up on your home page. If you don’t know how enter your phone type and “disable notifications” into Google… or ask an 11 year old to do it.
Put a photo of people who are most important to you on your homepage so when you reach for your phone you’ll be reminded who and what’s most important.
Move your most time-robbing apps off your front page. Or, delete them
(you can always reinstall them if you miss them too much).
Put your apps in folders so they’re not as noticeable on your phone (delete some along the way). When they’re not as noticeable, you’ll be less likely to scroll thru them mindlessly.
Go for a walk or a run and leave your phone at home
(too scary? Okay, there’s lots of other ideas to start with.)
Purchase a internet wireless filter for your home - like Circle. Which allows you to create time limits and filter out content for your kids and yourself! It's easy to install and manage! https://meetcircle.com/
Download Doug Fields’ Marriage App that is filled with questions to ask one another as well as prompts to encourage one another. If you’re going to use your phone—make it productive with these thoughtful questions. Go to the app store and search “100 Minute Date Challenge”. CLICK HERE.
How to Break Up with Your Phone… by Catherine Price (It’s excellent! Super practical.)https://www.amazon.com/How-Break-Up-Your-Phone-ebook/dp/B072J77B68/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533914960&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+break+up+with+your+phone+catherine+price
Parenting in a Screen Saturated Culture: Teaching healthy decision-making to the smartphone, youtube, instagram, gaming generation… by Doug Fields & Jonathon McKee (I’m biased on this—I think it’s pretty helpful—it’s a workbook style for parents to take notes and write down their thoughts. It’s short—which I like. Includes a contract for kids to sign—essential. Plus, one of the two authors is a great guy… the other is kind of a tool.) AVAILABLE ON AMAZON THIS WEEK!
How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind—from a Magician and Google Design Ethicist https://medium.com/thrive-global/how-technology-hijacks-peoples-minds-from-a-magician-and-google-s-design-ethicist-56d62ef5edf3
A jail cell for your phone(s). Put it on the kitchen table or in any phone-free zone in your house. You can set the timer/lock for up to 60 minutes so no one can access their phone. https://www.amazon.com/EB-Brands-Lock-Up-Phone-minutes/dp/B0091P1PUE
Tell me your best idea! (*SEE BELOW)
*Two thoughts regarding the submission of your ideas: (1) I reserve the right to edit/clarify/clean up the idea (as well as not use it… yikes, sorry). Just know that I’m thankful for your submission. (2) I’m on this journey with you—I don’t have it mastered either… and in stating that, I don’t want to be tethered to my phone/computer trying to responding to everyone’s questions. I just can’t do that. I apologize ahead of time. I wish I could respond to everyone, but that’s an unrealistic expectation for me to do that while focusing on what matters most. Thanks for your grace and understanding. Doug