Every time a notification comes up on our phones [which are almost always in our line of vision], we feel a sense of urgency to view it. Whether it’s an email, text, Instagram like, or maybe even a Bumble match, we might forget that while they are immediate notifications, they do not require immediate attention.
But what if we forget to respond? What if our best friend needs us in a time of crisis? What if you only have 24 hours to respond to your future husband?!
Take a deep breath in, hold for 4, take a slow exhale out — RELAX. Think about what you did before you got your smartphone, or even your own phone! Texts were for emergencies + emails were for non-emergencies. Even then, though, no one ever dared to double or triple text, blowing up your phone notifications. Times have changed, ++ it’s time to remind ourselves that it’s not necessary to check our phones right away.
Most of us can admit that we are attached to our phones. 96 percent of girls in the CHAARG Fit Plan this fall admit that they are on their phone too much. Millennials spend almost one day a week on their phones — yikes! All scary statistics aside, how do we break this habit of practically living on our phones?
1] TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
It can be overwhelming to check your phone to a million notifications, but remember that you can limit your notifications + check them one by one in each app. Do you really need to know who likes your Instagram picture each second they like it? Try turning off your notifications + see if you’re really missing anything. You can always keep notification previews on so that you can see what people want + prepare an answer. This way, if you clear it without checking it, you won’t forget to go back + respond.
2] REMOVE YOUR PHONE FROM YOUR VISION
Each time you realize that your phone is in your line of vision — whether in class, at your desk, at your meal, etc. — remove it. Do you have to see it right away? Try moving it to your pocket, purse, a drawer, or even turning it upside down. You’ll be less inclined to sneak peeks at your phone + will be able to focus more on the task at hand.
3] TURN OFF YOUR WATCH UPDATES
If you have a smartwatch that allows notifications from your phone, considering turning them off. Just because the capabilities are there does not mean you have to utilize them. It might also be distracting you with simple notifications that can quickly + easily be turned off.
4] DELETE APPS + ACCOUNTS
Not every account needs to be connected to your phone. Maybe you’ll want to keep one personal email connected, but save your school or work email for your laptop only. Often times, academic or professional emails are better answered typed out anyway, so there’s no reason to stress yourself out with too much clutter. If you find yourself checking Facebook too much, try deleting the app for awhile, or you can make it more *difficult* to check by placing it in a folder that’s not on your immediate home page. Outta sight, outta mind!
5] NO-PHONE TIME ZONES
Allot specific times to turn your phone off. Whether it’s 30 minutes after waking up or before bed, at meal times, or even during designated work times, setting specific times to not be on your phone can help you be more mindful + present by focusing on the world around you or your to-do list. You’ll be much more efficient this way, too!
6] DON’T PROCRASTINATE
If you find yourself procrastinating with *a few more scrolls,* remind yourself what you could be missing out on. Think about the minutes that turn to hours that turn to days — you’re missing out on time to be alive! Try to think about the *costs* vs. benefits of being on your phone. What else could you be doing that you would enjoy way more? If you’re on your phone one day a week, that’s 50 days a year, which is over one month spent on your phone a year. Let’s live a little, y’all! Enjoy the world around you as you walk + please, please stay off your phone while driving!
As a friend, colleague, + fellow human being, try to be mindful if someone doesn’t answer your text or email right away. If you start to feel worried or *unloved,* ask yourself what it really means to feel so anxious about a phone response. In a world of ghosting [still — WTF?], it’s normal to worry about someone ignoring you. However, you want to respect their time + priorities. As much as we love communicating with all of our loved ones, we have to remind ourselves what it actually means to communicate — would you prefer an intentional text message or a distracted message sent while multi-tasking?
We’re almost all guilty of this at some point, but it doesn’t mean we can’t change. It takes time to form a habit as well as stop it, so be patient with yourself + try to detach yourself from your phone. You’ll be much happier + at ease without that constant feeling of urgency — we promise : )
++ Mary K