Attached to your hip: your basic bestie.
Attached to your hand: your mobile phone.
These days, whether sitting, standing, walking or running, you’re likely engaged with your phone on some level. From catching up on work to keeping in touch with family and friends to reading the news and listening to music, there is a long list of reasons for your pocket pal to be on and out (or so you think). While it serves an important purpose: to call and connect, the device is a top distraction. Note to self: there is a time and a place for zoning in on the screen and tuning out the world around you. For a lesson on minimizing screen time and prioritizing (slash practicing) staying present, read on.
Let Go and Leave Home
It’s as easy as setting limitations and walking away (seriously). True story: with the development of social media and apps, the use of the cell phone has evolved from emergency situation to daily life. It’s socially acceptable to keep your phone within arm’s reach around the clock. From pillow talk to work walk, it’s ready and waiting for your next interaction. Break the habit by turning your phone off and keeping it out of sight a few hours a day.
Game changer: make a point of leaving the house sans cell. It’s all about the baby steps. To start, head to the grocery store or hit the gym without your number one and allow this behavior to take on a natural progression. If you can’t leave the house without your phone because you are worried about an emergency, put it in the trunk of your car so you still have access if necessary. If you still feel the need to have it close to you, put it on airplane mode and tell yourself not to change that status until actually needed. If your phone is required for your regular 9–5, cut contact during your lunch hour and when you get home.
When you are home, establish a house rule: no screen time during dinnertime or after a certain hour (e.g. 7 pm). If you’re living with others, try and make it a communal decision. Go team go!
Just Do It
If you’ve been thinking about deleting social channels from your phone — just do it already. Click the “x” mark. Put it on hold. Keep from killing boredom or taking up time by posting or playing. The result: a more productive day. Your colleagues, friends and family members will thank you (on repeat). Feel the need to stay in the know? Start by deleting the accounts and apps you spend the least time engaging with. You can also set a short amount of time once or twice per day to spend on social media to catch up on what’s going on with friends and family.
Connect and Check
Make your weekly report of screen time available as a notification, and let the results surprise, shock and serve as a call to action. Along with a breakdown of your screen time per day (categorized by apps), the report shows your weekly total + compares your use from the previous week. The numbers will speak for themselves, loud and clear.