As a New Year begins, there is a good chance that you are taking the time to reflect on your life and to find ways to improve over the next few months. For many people, this is the time to consider what their life-long goals are and how they can take significant strides towards achieving them over the upcoming weeks and months.
In this technology-obsessed age, one of the most significant challenges for accomplishing these goals is being distracted by the phones that we love to use.
This isn’t to say that you have to completely remove your phone from your life (that is impractical and unnecessary), and you can certainly still utilize your favorite apps and their relevant aspects that bring goodness and productivity to your life. But if you are like most other 21st-century people, you want to be rethinking your relationship with your phone in order to create a healthy bond that you can maintain.
Read on for three tips for a healthier relationship with your phone this year.
1. Consider what your current relationship is with your phone.
Before you can make any beneficial changes to your relationship with your phone, you first need to think about and reflect on your current relationship. Everyone is different, but for most people, a significant amount of time every day is wasted due to endless scrolling.
It is easy to get sucked into the endless information at your fingertips — particularly if you have an unlimited data mobile plan — and suddenly, you find that a quick check-in has turned into hours.
Therefore, in order to create a healthier relationship with your phone, you need to rethink what your device is bringing you. Instead of equating spending less time on your phone with less pleasure, think of those gained hours as time you can spend on other more pleasurable activities that can bring greater, more long-lasting gains to your life.
2. Think about the immediate changes you can make.
While you certainly need to think about big-picture ways to change your relationship, it is also possible to make some smaller, more immediate changes right this minute.
To start with, aim to turn off as many of your app notifications as possible (preferably all of them, apart from phone, text and calendar notifications). While there are some things you may need to know about immediately, you can definitely check on others on your own schedule instead of precisely when the app wants to alert you.
For you to maintain a new and better relationship, you also need to prioritize and remind yourself what you want to spend your time on. Most people wouldn’t say that their main priority in life is to watch other people’s lives via Instagram; however, their actions reflect a different story. Set a phone background that reminds you that you don’t want to waste your life and requires you to think about whether you really want to open up your phone.
3. Disconnect the phone from your hands to connect with life.
Too many people are living their lives through a screen, and while it is incredible to consider the ease with which you can capture moments of your life (photos of everything!), it also means that people are too distracted and absent from the real life that is unfolding all around them.
Make a commitment to keep your phone off the table when you are having coffee with friends or meals with family. Leave it in your purse or in the other room, or turn it off completely, so that you can be fully present with those you love.
Additionally, when you are waiting in line for your coffee or when your friend goes to the bathroom, resist the temptation to reach for your phone in those few minutes. Get comfortable with not having a piece of technology in your hands, and instead enjoy having a few minutes to look around and take in your immediate environment, to start a conversation with someone next to you, or to just stand and quietly take everything in.
In other words, even though you have a fantastic internet package, you don’t need to be stimulated every second of every day by your phone.
Have you ever tried to change or modify your relationship with your phone? What tips and tricks did you find to work? What challenges did you come across? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!