How to Tackle Your Phone Addiction

Aug 8, 2018Mental Health, Self Care

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So, I’ve been trying this new app called Moment, it tracks my screen time so that I can better manage my phone time and become aware of how much time I am actually spending on my phone.

Well, well, well I knew that I spent a lot of time on my phone (hence why I got the app) but boy was I in for a huge surprise.

I am averaging 6-10 hours of screen time a day.

This consists of a combination of Pinterest, surfing the Internet, using apps and texting.

I could work a part-time job for the amount of time I am spending on my phone alone.

No wonder why I don’t get anything done lol.

When I saw how much screen time I was racking up it really was a slap in the face especially since much of the time I’m spending on the phone I am also working.

O multitasking at it’s worst.

I began to notice I was reading articles while driving and reading in between appointments, my mind was always occupied and therefore never settled.

And not to mention me using my phone is ridiculously dangerous.

But if you’re like me and have a hard time putting down the phone here is what I have learned throughout this process and some tips to help you get started.

Figure Out Why 

 

My addiction stems from a place of avoidance.

I don’t like thinking about things that make me uncomfortable.

I have a VERY hard time being idle. I value being busy, something I am trying to change.

And also me researching things and being busy tricks me into feeling like I am being productive.

I trick myself into thinking that all this research is necessary to get started but it actually stops me from making progress (6 hours a day 7 days a week=42 hours a week minimum of research, um yeah all this is not necessary).

Whenever I feel uncomfortable my trusty dusty cell phone is there to numb that feeling.

So why do you think you’re addicted?

Do you have FOMO? Are you avoiding something? What does sitting on the phone for hours do for you?

Set Boundaries

 

Easier said than done, but it can be done.

As silly as it sounds decide that you won’t text (or in my case read) and drive and put your phone on do not disturb.

Put the phone in a locked drawer when you’re busy or out of your reach.

That lock will work wonders because most of us (myself included) don’t want to go through the hassle of getting up to unlock the drawer.

Make a vow to only use your phone when you are not working.

Feel like you can’t do it yourself?

Maybe consider a similar app like Moment where you can set limits and it will force you off.

Or another app Freedom actually blocks certain apps and websites for a certain time that you choose.

For someone as bad as me I recommend using Freedom or something similar.

I tried to do it on my own, I couldn’t and the app has forced me off my phone when I should have been focused on something else.

Tell someone else this plan to help hold you accountable too.

I made sure I told my boyfriend what I had planned because I knew he wouldn’t hesitate to call me out if he sees I’ve been staring at my phone for hours.

Slowly Reduce Time or Heck Go Cold Turkey

 

You may think that this is painful but its only is for like the first 30 minutes after that it gets much easier.

I’ve actually done Moment’s boot camp and it made an amazing difference.

This helped me focus while slowly decreasing the time I was spending on my phone.

The boot camp doesn’t recommend going cold turkey initially and instead gives you daily prompts for 2 weeks.

Things as simple as don’t use your phone in the bathroom and don’t sleep with your phone today and the last step is to go cold turkey and not use your phone for the day.

These small steps help you evaluate how you are using your phone and gradually makes you become more mindful of how/when you are using your phone when you should instead be enjoying the moment.

If that doesn’t work for you then go cold turkey if you can.

Or set a limit to how much you want to use your phone for the day and stick to thatWh 

I rely on my phone for waaaay too much(it has become like a child and I can’t leave home without it).

 

What I have learned from this process: 

 

I use my phone to distract me when I’m bored or want to get my mind off something instead of dealing with it

I check out of my relationships when I am on my phone. Usually, I’m not listening and I mentally somewhere else

Being on my phone makes it hard to be present

My phone literally runs my life

Takeaways

Like the app, focus on one goal at a time.

Sometimes we think we can stop things cold turkey but don’t realize how much it is really ingrained in our lives.

And before we know that one little slip up leads to a binge.

We say we’re going to limit our screen time but after we know it we’ve spent the entire day on the phone.

So I say start small.

Make a goal for the day and try to stick to that goal like the one from the boot camp.

I would also recommend their boot camp, it’s free!

But if you want to do it on your own I recommend making a simple, yet challenging goal and working on it for 2 weeks like they did.

It was so much easier to maintain by starting with 2 weeks instead of simply not using the phone because it is so much easier said than done.

 

This has really helped me become mindful of my time. You don’t realize how much you rely on your phone until you’re not able to use it.

And what I realized is that it was running my life, not the other way around.

From this boot camp, it has allowed me to rethink my relationship with my phone and how it is affecting not only my health but my relationships with others and how it effects me reaching my goals.

I realized that I was using my phone as a crutch. Using it to avoid feeling some way, to procrastinate, using it out of habit or to distract me from my boredom. And what value was it bringing to me? It was just a convenient distraction.

So I would love to hear how you’re changing your relationship with your phone and what you are doing to limit your screen time.