The average American spends three hours a day on their phone. That’s a lot of time dedicated to staring at a little screen – and not getting much done!
I don’t know about you but that actually sounds about right to me. I can easily spend almost three hours a day on my phone, on social media, watching YouTube videos, asking Google about random facts. And where does it all get me? I don’t think I’m getting any smarter with all the time spent on my phone. I mean, Instagram is my main source of news!
But productivity is the major downfall for all of us who are glued to our screen time. Studies show that if you are distracted more than ONCE every 23 minutes, you will never reach your fully-focused potential. And because most of us check our phones every 12 minutes…we never reach our full potential for productivity.
Don’t stress yet! Do you want to be productive and yet, always find your way back to your phone? I created a list of five simple habits for you and your phone to help you find middle ground. These tips are ones that help me focus every day and still stay connected!
1. Decide how much time you’re willing to spend on your phone a day.
Check your device settings to see how much time you’re wasting away. Does it look like too much? If you spend two and a half hours on your phone daily, maybe decide you want to spend half of that time. Delete any unnecessary apps. Cut down on Instagram or Facebook scrolling. Every time you feel yourself reaching for your phone, do something else. Write something down on a physical piece of paper, step outside, or stop putting off your to-do list. I’m sure there’s something else that needs to be done instead of checking your phone needlessly.
2. When you really need to be productive, put your phone out of sight.
It helps me to put my phone in another room or on “do not disturb”. But if you feel stress putting your phone in another room, turn the volume on and put “do not disturb” on for any notifications that aren’t necessary. Dedicate yourself to thirty minutes or an hour of work without distraction. You’ll feel more productive, and probably find that you don’t need your phone as much as you thought you did!
3. No phones by the bed.
Make this one a rule. Not only is it bad for you to have your phone next to the bed because of electromagnetic radiation, you’re also more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and check it. Avoiding your phone for twenty minutes before you go to sleep and after you wake up can improve your night’s rest and energy levels throughout the day. It’s helpful to actually buy an alarm clock to avoid using your phone.
4. Find tangible alternatives.
Yes, our phones are a technological phenomenon. Everything we need is at the palm of our hands. But that doesn’t mean we should always resort to it. Doing some research? Go to a public library and find a book on the subject. Used to doing meditation through an app or Spotify guide? Try meditation on your own. Feeling inspired? Jot your thoughts down on a piece of paper or draw out your ideas. Putting our energy into physical matter can often be more rewarding than using technology.
5. Maximize your productivity with your phone.
Umm, what? It’s true – you can use your phone to maximize your productivity. Use Notes to write your to-do list. Set a reminder. Play soothing jazz music to enhance your brain waves when you’re working or studying. Or download an app that helps you become more productive! There are plenty of apps nowadays to help you accomplish your goals and stop wasting away your life scrolling through endless feed.
Personally, I like to try and decrease the hours I spend on my phone every day. It’s like a competition with myself. Take that last year me! (Monica from Friends, anyone?)
All in all, I know I’m on my phone a lot. But sometimes I don’t realize just how much it’s impacting my productivity. I’m too busy for this! And I’m sure you are, too. Change your phone habits, starting now.