The one thing many of us can't live without
Can you last an hour without your phone?
Do you get overwhelmed if you see a screen full of missed calls, messages and social media updates?
Do others feel like they’re being ignored or not a priority when you’re on your phone all the time?
Earlier in the week I did a post with some statistics that outlined how much time we’re spending on our phones. The fact that the average person touches their phone 2,617 times a day really surprised me. So did the statistics that showed that 64.5% of people aged 18-34 take their phone to the toilet and 70.1% of people from the same age bracket sleep with their phone within arm’s reach (statistics courtesy of Elle magazine). These numbers really show how times have changed and highlight how reliant we have become on our smartphones being by our side 24/7. While I rely on my phone more than ever since launching The Truest You, at times I long for the days when people like my parents ran their businesses using a landline and a two-way radio system!
The reality is that while phones can be completely consuming, we require them to help us connect, take photos and videos, update our social media profiles, listen to music, reply to emails, develop skills and/or be entertained with an endless amount of apps. The challenge is how to use our phones optimally without letting them rule our days and cause us undue stress.
While I’ve definitely been spending more time on my phone for my business, I try to do it in the most mindful way possible. If I’m honest, my approach still needs some work! After reading the statistics, I checked my battery usage on my phone to see how much time I had spent on social media that day. By late afternoon I had spent over an hour and a half on Instagram and Facebook. It actually made me feel sick to my stomach. I was conscious of the fact that I was spending more time than I’d have liked to on my phone but I wasn’t sure how to cut back. Spending hours upon hours on it each day doesn’t really align with my values and while it can inspire me, it can also be draining and stressful. So, I’ve committed to doing three things over the next week to try to reduce distractions, help me be more present and less overwhelmed. They are:
- Turning off all notifications.
- Putting my phone on silent and out of reach when eating alone as I often get tempted to scroll (not mindful eating!).
- Working on breaking down the time I spend on my phone (for reasons other than calls) into 20-minute chunks throughout the day. I want to try this first without the use of an app as I feel it may complicate it. If I need to gain more insight I’m open to trying Mute Screen Time Tracker.
Three things I already do:
- Not check any social media when I go to bed and until I’m out of bed. I only use my phone to turn my alarm on and off and to meditate with Insight Timer.
- Put my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ or silent when coaching, exercising, spending time with others, sleeping and taking time to myself.
- Sleep with my phone on the floor, away from my bed to reduce the impact of Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMFs).
Three other tips to try if you’d like to set some boundaries:
- Let people know that you’re pulling back a little as some people get panicked if they see that we haven’t replied to a text or called them back within the hour.
- Track how much time you spend on your phone for a whole week. If you have an iPhone you can do this by going into your settings, clicking on battery and then seeing where the biggest percentage of your time is spent. You could also use apps to do this if you’d like.
- Delete your social media apps or hide them from your first screen for a period of time e.g. one morning a week, over the weekend or when you’re on holiday.
I’d love to know any tips that you have below.
Speak soon and in the meantime, remember to look up and soak in what’s right in front of you.