How to Stop Phone Addiction – 4 Tips


Last week, we discussed how to stop phone addiction – specifically, the emotional and mental aspects of phone addiction as well as what questions to ask yourself in order to help you assess your current situation. This time, we’ll examine four tips you can implement to begin curbing your addiction.


Remove Temptation

If you display your favorite apps on the home screen of your phone, it makes it that much easier to get sucked in. For example, if you want to check the time, you see your favorite app, then go down that rabbit hole for several minutes. The same thing can happen when you check a weather app on your home screen. Or what about when you check to see whose text just caused your phone to whistle? After you’ve answered, you might see a colored dot or a number on one of your home screen apps, notifying you of a new posting or communication. It might be hard to turn away from that temptation. It’s calling out to you and taking advantage of a possible weakness, your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To lessen the chances of temptation leading you down the path of lost time, remove those tempting apps from your home screen. You’re not deleting those apps from your device; you’re simply moving them to rear screens that you’d need to swipe to reach. In those seconds of swiping, you can catch yourself in the act and put your phone down.


Turn Off Notifications

Does your phone vibrate, ring, whistle, ding or make some kind of sound to let you know when one of your apps has received a new communication or posting? If your first impulse is to grab your phone and check it without even realizing what you’re doing, then you’ve allowed your phone to control you. To help wean yourself from this impulse, remove the trigger, which is the notifications. This doesn’t mean you’ll stop checking your phone; it simply means you’ll check your phone when you make the conscious decision to do so, even if that’s every 10 minutes. Turning off your notifications also allows you to create longer spans of focus. Most people today have forgotten what focus is like because they allow their phones to constantly interrupt them.


Take Five

Often times it’s recommended that people who are struggling with phone dependence (or any type of device) institute an entire phone-free day or device-free day. That sounds fantastic (and I do encourage that when possible), but not everyone is in a position to do this because of certain commitments or responsibilities. If you make this a goal, and then don’t achieve success on your first several tries, that will be de-motivating, which will most likely cause you to not attempt to go device-less. Instead, I recommend you start with five minutes. Set your phone down and spend time away from it for five minutes. If you’re worried about keeping track of when that forever-seeming five minutes will end, set an alarm, and don’t touch your phone until you hear that alarm sound. Feel what it’s like to be untethered for five minutes. Try this once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Keep doing this for a week, then gradually increase the number of five-minute breaks you take from your phone or device. This will allow you to build up your independence muscle – your independence from feeling the need to allow your phone to control you.


Find Your Fun

If all of your interests, information resources, hobbies, fun activities or relationships are handled through your phone, that makes it harder to build up your independence muscle. Pick one interest or activity that does not require use of your phone and devote a few minutes each day to developing that. When you have a world that exists outside of your device, it makes it easier to choose to not live in and on your phone.


Next Steps


If the thought of implementing all four of these tips to stop your phone addiction are causing you to hesitate, no worries. Choose just one tip from above and put it in place over the next week. It will seem awkward (possibly even scary) in the first couple of days because you’re not used to operating this way. That’s OK; it’s human nature to feel discomfort when we’re changing, even when it’s for the better. So, hang tight for that first week. You can do this!





For more guidance on establishing boundaries with your phones and devices, take a peek at The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.


About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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