Every person I speak to openly admits they are addicted to technology. Phone mostly, iPad often, Netflix more frequently.
We live in a world designed to keep us addicted - any question that pops into our mind can be immediately researched on the internet, notifications give us that little rush of dopamine we need and hours of binge watching TV series can keep us comfortably distanced from what we really want to do with our lives.
We know it ain’t good for us, so how can we begin to heal our technology addiction?
Keep a tech time log
Back in 2014 I kept a time log and discovered I was spending 2 ½ hours of my free time A DAY scrolling the internet. Terrifying right?
I’m much better now, but I’d encourage you to do the same - note down how often and for how long you’re reaching for your phone each day this week.
Don’t jump on first thing
If you start your day scrolling through feeds, checking emails and Googling, how do you think the rest of your day is going to go?
Will you feel centred, focused on your goals and productive?
Or will you be distracted, a little scattered and focused on others’ needs all day?
I think we know the likely answer.
Try and start the day with something more useful to your development - read a book, do some meditation or light stretching, journal or go for a walk. Your phone will be there when you get back, I promise.
Schedule your scrolling
This is a tough one, I’ll admit. Our default mode when we have any spare moment (even when driving, as noted by Louis CK here) is to reach for our phones.
It’s hard to fill those in between moments with anything but our devices, but music, a useful podcast or some deep breathing will serve you better than constantly flicking through your social media apps.
After you’ve done your time log, try scheduling some time in the morning and evening for more focused use of your phone (and time).
Turn off notifications
My life would be so much worse if I hadn’t have done this years ago.
I’m still so astonished by how many people have every notification on in their phone and, more importantly, how often they look at those notifications while I’m talking to them.
Turn them off people, you can thank me later.
Use the red light at night
I’ve only started using this one in the last week or so and can’t wait to see the benefits to my sleep. Turning your phone to red light (the iPhone instructions are here) makes your brain think it’s night time and helps us fall asleep more quickly.
If you’re finding it hard to cut out bedtime phone usage all together, this could be the tip for you.
Are you brave enough to keep a tech time log? What ideas will you implement in your life this week to break your tech addiction?