I gave up when I got over 40!! I was constantly tempted to check social media, emails, google something, read something, listen to something and even check the weather (despite it being in a constant 28 degrees). It was a real wake up call.
If you feel a strong urge to check your phone every 10 minutes or so, chances are you have an addiction.
Here's what to do about it:
1. Acknowledge that you are in control of yourself. You are in control of your phone usage! Nobody else. So no excuses!
2. Get motivated. If I offered you £10,000 to only check your phone three times a day, could you do it? Of course you could – because the motivation would be big enough.
3. Remove on-screen and sound notifications. When you get constant notifications about emails and social media comments, it can be really hard to resist checking. It is proven that we do not have an unlimited supply of willpower, so give yourself a break and remove some of the temptations.
4. Remove any addictive gaming apps. l lost weeks of my life playing Draw a few years ago! Or move them to a folder, away from your home screen.
5. Beware of the 'ludic loop' – that place where you are engaged in an addictive experience on your phone. Where you go from checking each social account, emails, messages, whatsapp and back to social!
6. Move your email off your home screen. Commit to checking it every three or four hours instead.
7. Watch your language. Don't tell yourself that you can't check your phone. Tell yourself that you choose not to or that you don't want to. This will make you less likely to rebel!
8. Put your phone away. In your bag or a drawer. Off the sofa arm. Again, remove the temptation!
9. Keep an eye on your daily usage. Most phones show screen time. What gets measured improves. Aim to reduce your screen time by 5–10% a day.
10. Try putting your phone on grey-scale. The bright colours used in apps are designed to entice you.
11. Set an evening alarm a couple of hours before bed to remind you to get off your phone.
12. Resist the urge. Be mindful of the urge to check your phone. Notice it, then choose not to act on it. The more you do this, the easier it will become as you create new neural pathways in your brain.
Smartphone addiction is a real thing. It's dangerous to your health, your business and your relationships. Stop kidding yourself that it's not.
How do you handle smart phone addiction?
Business & management coach, mentor, trainer, author, speaker, social entrepreneur, (and chief pot and bottle washer!)