6 practical ways to beat your smartphone addiction

If you find yourself checking your phone first thing in the morning- before even getting out of bed, you may be addicted. If you find you’re text-messaging while driving, checking your phone instead of working on an important assignment, or checking Facebook during a family dinner -your phone is interfering with your life and you are addicted

6 practical ways to beat your smartphone addiction
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An addiction is when the thing you are addicted to begins to control your life and interferes with your daily activities, work, and relationships. With the boom of technology, the signs of addiction can also be found in the form of cell phones.

Are missing out on living a fulfilled and rich life because you’re constantly staring at your cell phone?

Here are 6 tips to manage your phone addiction.

The first 30 minutes of your day

If you find yourself waking up in the morning reaching to check in with your phone before you even got out of bed, this is a serious problem. The first 30 minutes upon awakening should be dedicated to creating a good start to your day. This means getting out of bed, freshening up, taking 5 minutes to meditate and stretch and preparing a healthy breakfast. Start your day doing healthy, positive things to build your inner fortitude to take on the day ahead.

Create no-phone time zones

The truth of the matter is having a cell phone close by at work is common, and sometimes even required. Whether the ding of your phone is work-related or not—that specific phone alert is rarely related to the current work at hand. If you are constantly getting distracted by your phone going off—you won’t remain focused on the work in front of you, decreasing productivity. Therefore, I advocate for creating a no-phone time-zone. This means that for at least 2 hours of your day (when you’re most productive work happens) you close off your phone and stay completely dedicated to the work in front of you.

Don’t lose sleep over it

If you find yourself up late at night playing on your phone, whether it is video games, Facebook, or text messaging, you are losing precious sleep over your addiction. The moment you stop putting energy into caring for your basic needs and pour your time and energy into your phone, you are allowing the phone to dictate your health and well-being. If you catch yourself in this scenario, my advice is to power off your phone an hour before bed time to ensure that your last hour is spent in a meaningful way, and that you get to bed on time to start the next day afresh. Your phone is just not worth losing sleep over.

Remove those excess apps

Having instant round the clock access to Facebook is as superfluous as a nipple on my elbow. As a wise man on the Internet once said, Facebook is like the fridge—you check it every 15 minutes, even though you know nothing’s there. By eliminating time-wasters and attention suckers, you can rid yourself of the urge to draw your smartphone from your pocket every three minutes out of pure impulse.

Turn off (or customise) notifications

It only makes you more apt to whip out your phone and get nose-deep in a vicious tech circle of texting, email checking, and lord knows what else. You can disable in-app notifications in your main settings menu (under the App section), or customize them for only the important stuff. As far as calls and texts go, one viable solution I’ve been using is setting custom vibrations for certain people. You can make your own custom vibes by selecting a contact, then the “Vibration” option, underneath “Ringtone.”

Get real

When you are with a real life person sharing a conversation, a meal, or a cup of coffee, they are a real life form. A real person right there in front of you to engage with. Are you telling me that your virtual friends and virtual text conversations are more important than the real life person in front of you? Not only is this the rudest thing on the planet, but it breaks down friendships and can ruin relationships.

The author is a consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist from Nagpur