Do you ever get that overwhelming feeling of urgency that you need to check your phone, RIGHT NOW? And if you don’t you become all stressed-out. Your hand is magnetized to your phone, rummaging in your handbag desperately just to see how many likes you have on your breakfast Instagram post. Well, you may, like many of us, be a tad addicted to smartphones – possibly leading to a thing called smartphone stress.
But when a smartphone is causing us to feel stressed out and unable to switch off our minds, it can become troublesome. Well, the best way to deal with this is to just cut down your usage. The more you check your phone, they more you’ll feel the need to keep on checking it!
Here’s some great tips to control your smartphone usage.
#1 Work/life balance
Pittsburgh-based developer Kevin Holesh was so worried about how much he was ignoring his family and friends in favour of his iPhone he developed an app – Moment – to monitor his usage. The app enables users to see how much time they’re spending on the device and set up warnings if self-imposed usage limits are breached. You’ll be surpised and pleased to rediscover the pleasures of being in control of your attention.
#2 Turn off notifications
Does checking a single notification turn into a half-hour of phone browsing? It’s just all too easy to get sucked into the social media world through one alert. If you disable all unnecessary notifications, this is less likely to happen. Even muting your device to stop audio alerts can end that impulse we all have to check our phones whenever they ping or buzz.
#3 Set up phone-free periods every day
Look at times you don’t need your phone. You don’t need it in the bath (guilty of that one), you don’t need it while watching a movie and you don’t need it whilst eating your dinner. So set times of the day, like these, to just put your phone on airplane mode and put it away for a while.
#4 Don’t sleep with your phone
I think we’re all guilty of this one. It would be interesting to try this one out and see how much more relaxed I feel in the evening. Don’t use it as an alarm clock, don’t even take it into the bedroom. Taking away the temptation is the best way to go!
#5 Re-train your brain
If all else fails, you can try something called tech breaks. Start by looking at your phone for one minute and checking all forms of communication, including texts, calls and social media. Then turn it off, set the alarm for 15 minutes and place it face-down in plain sight. The upside-down phone reminds your brain to not release stress and anxiety neurotransmitters.
The next time it rings or chirps, check it again for only one minute. Keep doing that until it feels natural not to check in, and see that you didn’t miss anything.
Increase your tech break by five minutes every week or so, and soon you will be able to not check in for an hour or more without getting anxious about what you may have missed.
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