For a while now, I’ve been bothered with how easily I spend too much time on my phone. By the end of some days I feel like I’ve gotten nothing done and had real connections with nobody (especially those living in my own home). The whole smartphone, social media life we live obviously offers a lot of really good things. It can be enriching and add value to our lives. But when the first thing that popped into my mind when someone mentioned the word “vacation” was “NOT being on my phone,” I realized that I need to make some changes.
So often social media becomes the scapegoat for all technology related problems. But I’ve realized that social media in itself is not the problem for me. It’s not like I want to check it 23 times a day, I just do! But by changing some other phone habits, I’m not mindlessly swiping over to instagram and going on a stalking rampage that I know won’t add any value to my day.
As someone who over-researches everything in life, this is especially my tendency before I make a purchase. I want to make sure I’m getting the best quality/price/color/material, and the only way to ensure that is to spend a considerable amount of time with multiple tabs open. This is obviously a time-management problem in and of itself, but it also makes it so that I am checking into instagram every few minutes while trying to shop. Also, most of my days I end up with random shopping research on my mental to-do list, so I am cleansing my life of online shopping for the time being. In turn, this has greatly limited the time I spend on my phone in general.
Planning in Notes
I usually have a few different lists going of daily to-dos, weekly to-dos, shopping items, returning items, people to text and email, and things to clean. This has been an okay system for me to get things done, but I am absolutely on my phone WAY too much because of it. Crossing off completed items, adding more things to do for the next day. Then, again, once I’m on my phone, I’m all over on my phone, and I hardly ever put it down after only adjusting a list or two. I recently bought a physical planner and it has helped so much, even in only having had it the past few weeks. I feel like I am actually planning more efficiently, and I’m happy to hold a pen in place of my phone.
Charging During the Day
Sort of an accidental, but really helpful habit I’ve found is to charge my phone during the day, instead of at night. It takes us back to a time when phones always had to be in one place in the house! I usually plug it in at the kitchen counter in the morning. I’ll send a few texts and we’ll listen to music while we eat. After that, it’s off to the blue rug to play, and my phone stays put for the next few hours. It seems to be helpful to start my day this way, especially while the boys are so ready to play and read early in the day.
What habits with your phone could you be better without? What about your phone is making your life better or worse?