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How Addicted Are You To Your Cell Phone?

How Addicted Are You To Your Cell Phone?

The cell phone, in all its forms, is ubiquitous. There is no arguing that. But what if you can’t put your phone down? What if your phone has become an extension of your hand, in which nothing you do can go undocumented by your phone? The constant looming light of your cell phone screen following you around, lighting up your face like a glow stick as you attend concerts, go hiking or have dinner with friends. Technology is great and has been a progressive and inspiring force around the world. But when is it too much, and how do you know if you have a problem? Addiction is real and here are 10 clear signs that you need to put down the phone, step away and go get some fresh air.

1. You take your phone to the bathroom. And use it.

Bathroom time used to be a private experience; now many opt to bring their entire social life right in there with them. They text, chat and share pictures on Facebook or Instagram. Some even take selfies while peeing, or staring at themselves in the mirror. Some say this selfie-obsession is introducing a new rampant form of narcissism. Japanese designers, Panasonic and Fujitsu, have created water-proof, break-proof cell phones that allow users to take a shower with it, so they don’t miss a beat. It’s also protected just in case you drop it in the toilet. If this is you, you may want to try stepping away from your phone when nature calls. Try changing your time in the bathroom to one where you concentrate on your physical needs instead of clinging to a cell phone. Many people feel obligated to be near their phones all day, for work or family needs. If you’re not an on-call emergency doctor or firefighter, you likely have some leeway in your schedule.

maturana via Flickr

    2. You are sleeping with your phone.

    If your cellphone is the first thing you greet when you awake and the last thing you see before you fall asleep, there’s a problem. Cognitive therapist Dr. Suzanne Phillips notes on her post for PBS that sleeping with a cell phone has negative effects on users. She writes that, ”Texting as an addiction jeopardizes sleep, cognitive functioning and real relating–making dependence on it greater and greater.” If you can’t imagine waking up or falling asleep without something to read or look at, try challenging this pattern by replacing your phone with a book or magazine. You could also write in a journal. If you are coupled, talking to your partner as you fall asleep will offer more comfort and help in building your connection with the one you love. If you need distraction but live alone, you may want to create a playlist with music by instrumentalists like Deuter.

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    cheap eats via flickr

      3. Your phone has a place at the dinner table.

      If your phone plays center stage at meal time, it’s time to put down the phone. Many of us can’t help photographing the food we are about to ingest and it’s okay, every now and again, especially, if you are a chef or tried and true foodie. But consistently choosing your phone over friends and family when eating is a sign of a potential cell phone addiction. When you feel the need to check in on your social network, send a gratuitous text, or merely stare at your phone while you chew, try instead engaging with the person you are dining with. If alone, enjoy being present with your meal; maybe do some people-watching, read a book, or connect with the servers or the chefs that prepared your meal.

      YourDon via Flickr

        4. You are texting while walking.

        This spells disaster. Keep the texting for non-moving times. You are running into people or standing in the middle of the sidewalk as you attend to your phone. You are taking selfies when you should be focusing on getting to your location safely. Just as you wouldn’t drive and text (hopefully!), you shouldn’t text and walk. If you need to, step off to the side. The media have shown unfortunate examples of people texting and walking, unaware of their surroundings. One young woman fell onto the New York City Subway tracks, and got hit!

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        Photo by Josh Liba via Flickr

          5. You are hanging out with friends, and you are all busy with your phones.

          If hanging out consists of you and your friends sitting in the same room while you play on your cell phones, you are not really building a connection with your friends. The phone might not be huge, but it acts as a very big barrier, stealing your attention from the present moment.

          via news61.com date-annoy-annoying-uniterested-woman-man-fight-cell-phone-phone-busy-unattentive-not-paying-attention-woman-2v1cka5tzamcr9pveuqtxc

            6. You no longer apologize for checking your phone when you are out with someone.

            Sure, cell phones have allowed people to keep in touch and make plans with friends, but they have also transformed the dating scene, with many preferring to casually “hang out” and text, instead of creating a real relationship with another. In fact, it’s not entirely common to go on a date and sit in silence as your date fiddles with his phone, or both parties are busy chatting and texting with another person. And not even an apology is given. It’s rude, tacky and immature. If you are out with someone, particularly a potential lover, it’s important to take a break from your phone and get to know the person in front of you. If you’d rather be chatting with someone else, you shouldn’t be out on a date, nor do you deserve to be. Try challenging this bad habit with finding common ground, discussing interests, and engaging your date with intriguing questions or thoughts–minus the phone. You don’t need to text, Yelp, Instagram, Facebook or Tweet every movement, food particle eaten or sarcastic quip. Save the restaurant review until after your date.

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            wheres_my_cellphone via dialanerd.com

              7. If you forget your phone, you have a mini panic attack.

              This Disconnection Anxiety may seem exaggerated, but it’s very real to the person experiencing it. Studies have noted that most people are within three to five feet of their cell phones at any given time. The mere thought of not having it close by is enough to make some go off the deep end and into full-on rage mode. If your palms sweat, you feel anxious, nervous, agitated or in a hurry to get home, because you are without your phone for a few hours, you need to think about the affect the cellphone has on you and the power you’ve given it. You deserve an afternoon, or two, off. Enjoy a hearty meal, a walk in the park, time playing with your dog, seeing a film, talking with your neighbor or checking out books from the local library in place of your obsessive cell phone usage. If you find that you can’t quit your phone, for even a short while, consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist who can help you make sense of and put into perspective this intense urgency to be connected every waking moment.

              via Washington Times teens_s640x427

                8. Your phone has become a status symbol, that you regularly flaunt.

                Having a cell phone can get costly. Between downloading apps, music, monthly fees, and even texts, they can cost hundreds of dollars each month. Some phones are even going for $15,000, before monthly fees and other charges. Cell phones have become our modern era’s status symbol. If you not only obsessively use your phone, but use it to show your status in society, or if your phone has become a symbol of your personal worth, it’s time to adjust your idea of self-worth and importance. Remove the focus from the phone and back onto the things that truly matter, like the quality of your life and those you care for.

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                larrison via flickr

                  9. You are out in nature, checking your phone.

                  Hiking on a beautiful day, playing sports, enjoying a visit to a natural habitat, or time spent in nature demands your full attention. It’s not time to check your cell phone or show off what you’re doing, but take in the experience. This funny and introspective video by YouTube user Charlene deGuzman offers an outside perspective into how your cellphone addiction affects not only you, but also those around you.

                  large_4794889717 lordjim via flickr

                    10. You are texting and driving.

                    This is the most dangerous and troubling sign of an unhealthy relationship with your cell phone. Driving requires your focus for road safety. If you need to text or make a call, pull your car over and do so, when you are not in motion. If it’s not an emergency, it can wait. Many states and countries around the world heavily ticket drivers using their cell phones while driving, which means you’ll pay a big price for a single text. It’s not worth the risk to your well-being or wallet. For news on European, Australian and New Zealand distracted driving  laws, see their respective links.

                    Featured photo credit: PKMousie via flickr.com

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                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                    40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                    Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                    There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                    Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                    It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                    Productivity apps to help you get things done

                    1. OmniFocus

                    This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                    Download it here.

                      2. Forest

                      Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                      Download it here.

                        3. Things

                        Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                        Download it here.

                          4. 30/30

                          Recently covered here at Lifehack

                          , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                          Download it here.

                            5. Any.Do

                            A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                            Download it here.

                              6. PocketLife Calendar

                              This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                              Download it here.

                                7. Asana

                                We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                Download it here.

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                                  8. ToDoist

                                  This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                  Download it here.

                                    9. FlowTasks

                                    From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                    Download it here.

                                      10. Calendars 5

                                      This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                      Download it here.

                                        11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                        A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                        Download it here.

                                          12. Due

                                          A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                          Download it here.

                                            13. Checkmark 2

                                            I use this app

                                            for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                            Download it here.

                                              14. TeuxDeux

                                              Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                              Download it here.

                                                15. Wunderlist 

                                                Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  16. Nirvana

                                                  For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    17. Priorities

                                                    An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                      18. Productive

                                                      With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                        You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          20. Streaks

                                                          This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            21. Remember The Milk

                                                            Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              22. Day One Journal

                                                              When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                23. Evernote

                                                                Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  24. Pocket

                                                                  You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                    25. Sync.Me

                                                                    This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      26. Droplr

                                                                      One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        27. Dropbox

                                                                        Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          28. iDolly 

                                                                          In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                          Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            29. Soulver

                                                                            It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                              30. Captio

                                                                              A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                31. Drafts

                                                                                A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                  This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                  Download it here.

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                                                                                    33. Doodle

                                                                                    This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                      I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                        A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          36. GoodReader

                                                                                          This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            37. LogMeIn

                                                                                            Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                              38. 1Password

                                                                                              There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  40. Truecallers

                                                                                                  Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                    Reference

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