If you’re anything like me, then you may feel like you’re on your phone WAY too much. You’re scrolling Instagram, refreshing your feed, checking all of your Facebook groups, and reading emails that you have no intention of responding to in that moment. And it’s draining!
At the end of 2018, I realized my phone was taking too much of my time, and that more importantly, I wasn’t even enjoying the time it was taking. If this sounds familiar to you, then stay tuned! I’ve got some solutions to share!
Alright, let’s jump right into these 7 ways!
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
- No phones in the bedroom!
This may sound weird like “how are you setting an alarm then?!” Well, does anyone remember the days of alarm clocks?! Real alarm clocks. I’m not old at all, and I certainly remember having a traditional alarm clock. Well, I’m moving back to THAT.
Here’s what my problem was — I often was on Instagram or worse, IN MY EMAIL right before bed. That’s not what I want to be doing as I’m falling asleep. And, often times right when I woke up I’d see Instagram notifications, email notifications, or the latest news and be right back at it again. How you wake up sets the tone for your entire day, and I want to set a positive tone.
So, I made us a little charging station. It’s nothing fancy, just a bin under our TV entertainment center. At night before bed, we both sign off, leave the phones and say good night.
This has been great for our marriage. I’m lucky that my husband was also really into this idea just as much as I was! Some spouses may not be into the idea of no phones in the bedroom, and that’s ok. I say you just do you, invite them into it with you, and if they aren’t interested then let it be for now! They may notice how it’s positively affecting you and want to join in too!
Another perk is that I’m not thinking about my business as soon as I open my eyes and turn off my alarm clock anymore. Which is a blessing, because yes I’m a business owner — but I’m so much MORE THAN THAT, and I don’t want my business to consume my life. And, we are waking up quicker because the alarm clock I purchased is NOT soothing at all! (Haha) I didn’t invest in a fancy one, it’s like a $12 alarm clock from Amazon. Previously I used a paid app on my phone to wake me up that literally played A HARP, Y’ALL. Like I wasn’t waking up to that. I was snoozing!
- No notifications for basically anything.
This is something I actually did a while back, but I’m sharing it now because I think it would help you too. I used to get notifications for every email I received, every Instagram like/comment/etc., the news, the weather, texts … EVERYTHING! Basically, my phone was always dinging or lighting up!
Turn it off, you guys! Try to notice it today, when you get a notification on your phone (even with no volume), it takes your attention, even if you don’t reply or act on it. You’ll notice that when you’re working and a notification happens, once you look at your screen, it takes a moment to refocus! So, now I hardly get notifications for ANYTHING, and it’s wonderful.
- Phone on do not disturb while I’m working
During about 80% of my work hours, my phone is not going to notify me of ANYTHING! “Do Not Disturb” is an iPhone setting where you can allow specific contacts to still get in touch with you and block everything else from notifying you. You still can see the notification later, you just have to directly go LOOK at your notifications.
I’m going to guess that about 90% of you listening work more hours than you need to because you’re getting distracted by your phone. I’m not saying you don’t HAVE that much work to do. But, if we cut out your phone, the amount of time truly working is less than you think!
I think we often want to be distracted because it feels like it makes work more fun or something. But you know what’s REALLY FUN? Getting more done in less time, haha. So put your phone away! One thing that might be helpful for getting started with this is to set a timer for 1 hour, and put your phone do not disturb face down or off your desk completely. Work on the task with 100% focus until the timer is up and then if you want to, you can check your phone. You’ll be amazed at how much more you accomplish!
- No phone during quiet time
I don’t know what your morning routine is like but for me most days it starts with time in the Bible and praying and meditation. Having a phone lighting up during this time is the most distracting thing ever. So now, I either keep my phone on do not disturb face down near me or still on it’s charging station. This helps me to really be with God — not with Instagram, Facebook or my emails. Lately, I’ve been convicted about the idea of getting quiet to hear God and be with him. So often we want to really hear from God and feel like we aren’t, but we aren’t actually giving him the space to TALK TO US! We are covered in noise from the world constantly and not seeking to hear him. In my quiet time I want to 100% be SEEKING him and waiting expectantly to hear from him, and my phone detracts from that!
If you guys are interested in what quiet time stuff I use, here are the links:
- Delete Instagram 1 day per week.
Yes, I either delete the app off my phone completely or move it from it’s spot so I’m not distracted by it! I’m not deleting my account, but removing the app from my phone so I can’t even scroll. I’ve found that for me, I really do need it gone to not look at it a lot of the time. I’d love for that to eventually change, but for now, that’s where I am.
You guys who follow me on social media may notice that there’s at least 1 day per week were I go quiet on social media (sometimes more than 1 where I don’t post at all). And you know what?! My business will be ok. This will not make or break anything. And for those of you without businesses, you’ll be ok missing the updates of the people you follow for a day.
Be sure to plan what day of the week you’re doing this ahead of time, so you don’t miss it!
- Work towards ditching the mindless scroll.
It's so easy to get on social media and just scroll — without interacting, without thinking, without creating content yourself. I want to quit doing that. I’m not saying I want to quit looking at what others post. I don’t want to to do that! But when I do it, I want it be more intentional than it has been in the past. Like when I read someone’s Instagram post or Facebook, I am PLANNING to engage with with it. Not just look at it. So, this is a big goal — ditching the mindless scrolling.
- Do not disturb during workouts and time with friends
You guys don’t let your workouts get ruined by your notifications! I have had SO MANY workouts get ruined by me getting a message that I feel like I have to deal with immediately. And it’s not urgent, no. But, I feel like it is and then all of a sudden I’m rushing and feeling like I have to deal with whatever it is on my phone.
In the past, this has happened to me with friends and family. On date nights, we aim to put our phones away! Usually, we put them both in my purse. It leads to better conversation and fewer distractions. Because let’s be real when we are with the people we love, we should want to be with them, not our phones.
You guys this is not an overnight thing for me, it’s my goal for the entire year! If you feel interested in doing this too, which I’d say you are since you’ve been reading this long., GO FOR IT. I’m suggesting taking a couple of these ideas and putting them into action now! Write them down as your own goals! Let me know how it goes for you over on Instagram or in a comment below!
- 7 ways I’m using my phone less and being in the moment more
- The spot in our house where my husband and I rarely bring our phones anymore
- Why you’re working more hours than you need to simply because of distractions
- How putting my phone away has changed my morning routine
- My top morning routine tools!
- Embarassing stories about major phone failed and what I learned from them