Ever catch yourself scrolling through your phone one too many times, thinking, “Why can’t I focus on what really matters?”
You are not alone!
As busy entrepreneurs, we’ve all fallen into the trap of checking our phones and notifications way too often. And let’s be real, it can feel like we’re missing out on the good stuff happening right in front of us.
But guess what? I’ve got some tips that’ll help you break free from this digital addiction and get you back on track.
1. Create boundaries with a schedule
You know how easy it is to get lost in the rabbit hole of your smartphone, right?
One minute, you’re checking a notification, and the next thing you know, you’ve spent 20 minutes scrolling through social media apps.
Sound familiar? So, here’s the game plan to start breaking that smartphone habit.
First off, set some boundaries. Start by carving out specific times to check your phone. Maybe it’s every 15 or 30 minutes, to begin with. This way, you’re not constantly glancing at your phone screen every two seconds.
Once you get the hang of it, challenge yourself! Extend that time to 45 minutes, and then, when you’re feeling like a pro, make it a full hour.
But what about those super important emails or messages that just can’t wait? No worries!
Set a 5-minute timer to quickly skim through and respond to the urgent stuff. If your inbox is overflowing, give yourself an extra 10 to 15 minutes to tackle the excess.
And, of course, we can’t forget about the people in our lives who might start thinking we’ve been abducted by aliens because we’re not replying as fast as we used to. Right?
Give your friends, family, and colleagues a heads-up that you’re trying to be more mindful of your phone usage during business hours. It’ll save you a lot of stress and them a lot of anxiety.
2. Turn off notifications
Okay, let’s get real about push notifications. You know, those little pop-ups that make your phone buzz or ding?
Yeah, they’re like annoying party crashers who just won’t take a hint. Do you really need to know the very second your favorite podcast drops a new episode? Or when someone “likes” your latest social media post? Nope.
Here’s the deal. When you have notifications turned on, then other people are in control of your day. Not you.
So dive into your phone settings and start turning those notifications off. And if you have push notifications enabled on your computer, turn them off, too.
Social media and email should definitely be turned off.
Calendar notifications – that one is a judgment call. I personally need those, or I would miss my appointments.
“But what about my emails?” you might ask. Listen, if you’re sticking to that schedule we talked about earlier, you don’t need your phone buzzing every time a new email lands in your inbox. You’ll check it when it’s on the schedule, simple as that.
Doing this not only cuts down on distractions but also helps you combat that behavioral addiction of constantly checking your phone. It’s actually like reclaiming a little piece of your mental real estate.
So go ahead and flip that “off” toggle on your notifications and feel the stress start to melt away.
3. Get rid of time-wasting apps
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: those time-sucking apps on your smartphone.
You know what I mean. One minute, you’re scrolling through Instagram, then you hop over to Facebook, check the weather, read a couple of texts, and maybe even sneak in a quick game of Wordle.
Before you know it, you’ve lost track of time, and you’re scratching your head, wondering where the last 30 minutes went.
This may sound radical, but what if you just got rid of those distracting apps? I know, I know, it sounds extreme, but hear me out.
If you limit your phone to only the essential apps, you’ll be amazed at how much less time you spend glued to that screen.
Try this: delete your social media apps and make a pact with yourself to only check them through the web browser on your phone or laptop. It adds an extra step, and that tiny bit of friction can make all the difference.
Apps are designed to keep you engaged. But if you have to go through your browser, it slows you down and makes you think twice.
4. Don’t keep your phone next to your bed
The bedroom is supposed to be a sanctuary, right? It’s where we recharge our brains and bodies.
But how many of us are guilty of cuddling up with our phones right before bed and first thing in the morning? Yeah, I’ve been there, too.
But here’s the thing: your phone doesn’t have to be your bedtime buddy or your wake-up call.
Why not go retro with a good old-fashioned alarm clock? Remember those?
By using an alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up, you’re setting a boundary that helps you start and end your day without the distraction of notifications, emails, or social media. It’s like giving yourself permission to ease into and out of your day without the stress of technology.
And let’s not forget about the anxiety and stress that checking your phone can bring. One minute, you’re setting your alarm, and the next, you’re deep into work emails or stressing about tomorrow’s to-do list.
So make a little room on your nightstand for an alarm clock and relocate your phone to another part of the room – or even a different room altogether.
5. Use a smart speaker and voice commands
My last tip is to use a smart speaker, like an Echo or Homepod. This can be your trusty little sidekick in the battle against smartphone addiction.
When you’ve got a smart speaker synced up to your network, you can control your music, podcasts, and even some of your smart home features without ever having to pick up your phone.
Just say what you what you want to hear or do, and voila! Your speaker takes care of it. It’s like having a virtual assistant that keeps you away from the temptation of diving into the endless scroll on your phone screen.
Think about it. Every minute that your phone is out of your hands is a minute you can use to be more productive. (Or just to enjoy life!)
So there you have it. Five tips to help you break the habit of checking notifications constantly. Once you start implementing these changes, you’ll wonder how you ever let your phone run the show.
And, if you want to take a step further and see if a digital detox would be helpful, take this free 1-minute quiz to find out.