Have we gotten to the point where we can call our phones an addiction? The average email can only last sixty seconds without being read, and we check our phones 80 times a day, even if we didn’t actually receive a notification. Therefore, the answer is ‘yes.’ We can now call it an addiction. And here is how to stop phone addiction in just four steps.
1. Distance Is Your Friend
To begin with, try to keep your phone out of your reach as much as possible. Keep it somewhere where you can hear it, in case someone needs you, but where you cannot actually see it. Therefore, you cannot get distracted and check it all the time.
What you want in this first phase is to cut out the unnecessary times when you check your phone without having received a notification. Distance will help you there.
2. Stop the Ludic Loop
In case you don’t know what that is, we’re here to help. Scientists have a name for the indefinite time we waste on our phones. We turn them on, check Facebook, email, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, and when that’s over, one or two hours later, it’s time to start all over again. That’s the ludic loop.
How to stop phone addiction is all about that. Set a time limit for yourself. For example, you can only spend 15 minutes at a time on your phone or check one app alone in one go.
3. Replace the Phone
One of the oldest tricks in the book when you’re trying to give up smoking is to replace the cigarettes with gum, candy, or anything else that can trick your hands and your mind that you’re going through the motion. But without actually smoking.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t apply the same logic to phone addiction. If you’re at home at you have already put away your phone, so you’re not tempted, then keep a book or a magazine close by. Not at home? No problem. Install the Kindle app and check that instead of Instagram and Facebook. Soon enough it will be a lot easier to manage your phone. When you’re at work, try to focus on your tasks.
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4. Prepare in Advance
This idea on how to stop phone addiction might seem easy, but it’s actually pretty difficult to do. Preparing in advance means knowing where you’re going and what you’re doing and leaving the phone out of that situation. Here are a few examples.
If you’re out at lunch or dinner, leave the phone in your bag. Do not put in on the table or in your pocket. If you’re at a friend’s house, then keep the phone in your coat’s pocket on the rack instead of bringing it in with you. At work, store the phone in a desk drawer that’s not that easy to reach. In time, you won’t feel the need to stretch out for it as much and solely focus on the tasks and people who are in front of you, instead of Instagram and Facebook.
How to stop phone addiction is no game. It seems like an easy thing to do, but when you actually try to do it, that’s when things get real. However, keep in mind that actual people, places, and experiences are far more important than digital ones.