It’s now common knowledge that the time we spend on our phones has become a problem. Most people are concerned about how often they are staring at their screens, and are looking for ways to reduce it.
Even app developers are coming clean and realizing they’ve made an extremely addictive product. Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook, says, “Facebook appeals to your lizard brain – primarily fear and anger. And with smartphones, they’ve got you for every waking moment.”
What’s worse, a study by psychologist Jean Twenge found that heavy users of digital media are 56% more likely to say they are unhappy and 27% more likely to be depressed.
Thankfully, this means that there are people and organizations actively looking to tackle this problem and provide solutions for a healthier lifestyle when it comes to technology.
In the meantime, here are three simple tips you can use in order to drastically reduce the time you spend on your phone.
1. USE GRAYSCALE MODE
Even something as simple as the bright, beautiful colors on your screen can be addictive. You might be very surprised how much less you check your phone if you turn on a grayscale feature, making your phone screen black & white.
These instructions from lifehacker will help:
“The process for enabling grayscale differs for different models of Android phones, but it’s typically accessed via the “Accessibility” menu. In iOS 10, go to Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Color Filters. Switch Color Filters on and select Grayscale. To easily toggle between color and grayscale, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Color Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to color.”
You’ll notice an immediate difference as soon as you decide to start cruising Instagram or looking for a game to play. Your phone starts to become much more of a tool again, instead of a distraction.
2. MOVE YOUR CHARGER
Where is your charger right now? Right beside your bed, of course. It probably started because we use our phones as alarm clocks, but now it seems like the natural thing to do. It’s the last thing we put down when we go to sleep and the first thing we pick up when we open our eyes. You have other options.
Find another room to place your charger. A home office or the kitchen is a good option. And when you start winding down for the night, turn on airplane mode. This will help ingrain the idea that your phone is just a device that can help you live more productively during the day, not a 24/7 lifeline to the world.
If your bathroom is close to your bedroom, this is a great place to put your phone charger. When the alarm goes off in the morning, you’re forced to get out of bed in order to turn it off. Then, since you’re already standing by the shower, you might as well get your day started. Here are even more strategies to make waking up early easier.
If the new room for your phone is too far away, maybe it’s time to make alarm clocks cool again. Check out this minimalist alarm clock on our Amazon store.
3. TURN OFF ALL NOTIFICATIONS
There’s nothing better than constant notifications if you want to get addicted to your phone. Facebook has done a great job here over the past year. You’ll notice you almost always have notifications when signing in, mostly things happening nearby or activity friends have taken.
Turn off all notifications (except for phone and text, probably), and turn off all badges. You’re going to check these apps anyway, so do it on your own terms. Studies show that we are just as distracted by the sound of a notification, even if we don’t check it. That constant attention switching will exhaust you without even knowing it, and take you away from whatever task you were currently focused on.
There are many more strategies to spend less time on your phone, like uninstalling important apps or monitoring your usage. We like the idea of keeping our phone stored away as much as possible, as opposed to trying to regulate usage once it’s already in our hands.
Are you part of the majority who is now struggling with technology addiction? Do you feel like it’s having a negative effect on your life? Let us know what other strategies you are using to take back your brain. We are blessed to have the entirety of human knowledge in our pockets; let’s use it to skyrocket our success, not sabotage ourselves.
If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed with organizing your digital life, schedule, and more, try the Conquer Command spreadsheet. You can run everything (your work, hobbies, fitness, projects, etc.) out of a single spreadsheet. Get the free template, video, and text instructions below: