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Addicted to Your Mobile Phone? 5 Ways to Beat Your Phone Addiction

Addicted to Your Mobile Phone? 5 Ways to Beat Your Phone Addiction

An addiction is when the thing you are addicted to begins to control your life and interferes with your daily activities, work, and relationships. The classical definition of an alcoholic is someone who wakes up to a glass of vodka instead of a cup of coffee.  But with the boom of technology, the signs of addiction can also be found in other places besides the bottom of a glass, it can also be found in the form of cell phones.

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 romantic dinner—your phone is interfering with your life and you are addicted.

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

Here are five tips to manage your phone addiction.

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1. 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.

2. 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.

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3. Turn your Phone Off When You Get Into The Car

This should be a law. I’m waiting for the day that it is. Just as in an aircraft you are asked to power off your electronic devices and cell phones, this should be the law of the road. It is impossible for your mind to be at two places at once. It is a law of physics: no one thing can occupy the same space at the same time, and if your mind and eyes are on your phone, they are not on the road. Driving is one of those places where you do not want to mess around. Sometimes I hear the excuse “Well, I need my phone for directions, my GPS is on it.” To that I say: what did people do five years ago? You would carefully map out your route before you left the house, or you would pull off to the side of the road as you looked at a map. The same rule should apply today. When driving—close off your phone so that you are not even tempted to look at it. Your life and other people’s lives are at stake.

4. 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. Even if you say to a friend “Oh I just need to check that,” They may respond “Oh, that’s OK.” But the truth is it’s not OK. What you are saying is that the virtual message is more important than them. They have taken time out of their busy life to meet with you, and share real life time with you. By turning your attention away from them you are inevitably saying “You are not as important.” It’s really a sickness that we are so addicted to our phones that we ignore the people we are with to hang out with virtual people over Facebook, Twitter, and text messages. Come on people—it’s time to get real.

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5. 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.

Now it’s your turn. Do you find yourself in one of these scenarios? What’s your plan of action to ensure that your phone isn’t dictating your life? Please share in the comments below, and let’s inspire each other to live healthier, happier, more meaningful lives by not caving into a phone addiction.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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