Mobile phone addiction

“Don’t become a slave to technology.
Manage your phone.  Don’t let it manage you.”
– Richard Branson

  • Remember who the boss is. I love modern technology and use it to achieve so much in my life, BUT it’s an enabler and not the master. They didn’t label the Blackberry, “Crackberry” for nothing.
  • Count. Take a single day and count how many times you check your phone.  If you’re like the average person, you’ll be glaring at that little screen 9 times every hour. To help you count, as you’d expect there’s an app for that. Try ‘RealizD’ and ‘Moment
  • Turn off notifications. All of that pinging achieves nothing apart from distracting you from what you’re doing. I know that fear of missing something important is a real concern, but it is important to fight it as most daily alerts don’t need your immediate attention.
  • Decide. How often do you want to check your device? You’re in the driving seat and it’s your decision. My own system these days is not to look at my device until I am on my way to work.  During my day, I check it twice, which enables me to chunk the task and focus on work the rest of the time.  Some people set their out of office messages to let people know when they will be checking their email.  For instance: ‘Thanks for your message. I check email at the end of the day, so will get back then. In the meantime, if it’s urgent call me’, or something along those lines. In the evening, I put my devices away at 7pm and get into ‘evening mode’ and family time.
  • Keep it out. Falling asleep under the glow of a mobile phone is not a very healthy habit to get into, for all sorts of reasons. I like to have a bedtime ritual where I put my device to bed in the kitchen, lounge, or any room that isn’t my bedroom. If you’re thinking, ‘I use the alarm on my phone to wake-up’, go old school and buy an alarm clock, or set it really loud so that you can hear it from your bedroom and have to get up to switch it off!
  • Create digital rules for yourself, your team and your family. Include things like no emailing after 6pm, no phones or tablets in meetings, no devices at all on a Sunday. Of course, like any rule, they will need to be enforced, so consider an incentive scheme to make the whole Digital Detox practice fun and rewarding – and as stress-free as possible.