Being online all the time is more problematic for your health and your business than you might think. That’s why I’m sharing my best tips to finally cut your phone addiction.
One of the main problems I hear about from my coachees, my team, my online tribe, is that we’re all overwhelmed/tired all the time.
If we’re honest, it might be to do with the fact that we are online, all of the fucking time.
We go to bed with our phone, wake up with our phone.
So much time scrolling, but no time to make content. I always jokingly say: I don't want you to have watched all of my stories because that means you haven't been making content today.
If you didn’t think you might be addicted too, you probably wouldn’t be interested in this episode — but you’re not alone.
I'm gonna walk you through some of the things that have actually worked for me to cut my phone addiction and, more importantly, some of the things that haven't worked for me.
Not sleeping well? Put your phone down.
If you’re not sleeping well you can drink tea, go to the doctors, eat healthy, workout — none of it will work if you’re not also putting your phone down 2 hours before bed.
Similarly, if you’re using your phone within half an hour of waking up. That’s a problem. Your brain is training itself to expect those rapid dopamine hits as soon as you wake, and it’s affecting your sleep.
Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock — get a different one.
That way, you don’t even need to bring your alarm clock into the bedroom. In general, we want to keep the phone out of the bedroom.
I would recommend getting a Phillips wake-up light, it will hack yourself into waking up more naturally and without your phone.
Turn off notifications.
We are not made to multi-task all the time.
When I’m sitting in a meeting and the whole table is buzzing, it disturbs me! I’ll ask everyone to turn their phone on silent or turn their notifications off. In the real world, I can’t always ask people to do that.
You are going to be constantly pulled out of your focus if your phone keeps buzzing constantly, and of course, you are going to be overwhelmed.
Use your notification settings — turn off previews for texts, or just allow calls to ring while everything else is silent.
Otherwise, you could be in the middle of doing something and if someone texts you because they’re stressed, now you’re stressed too!
Apply the ‘Touch It Once’ Rule.
I use this rule all the time — emptying the dishwasher, after I get dressed when I need to put my clothes away. Basically, if you are holding something (touching it), don’t put it down and then put it away later. Just put it away then — touch it once.
This also goes for notifications, see them once. If you get a notification about an email or text, it’s best to just reply when you see it.
We do too many things all at once in today’s world. We open an email and decide to respond later.
Then later, we’re busy, and we’re trying to go back to it and we have a million things going on and distracting us.
My rule is: only let information in when I can handle it.
Being on your phone isn’t the same as taking a break.
What has happened to our society right now is people don't take breaks anymore. You have a meeting, you finish a meeting, you open your phone, see messages as you walk to the toilet, it’s constant.
We're supposed to actually just go to the bathroom. When we are at a stoplight in traffic, we're supposed to just look at how weird a dude next to us is being.
Anytime I am extremely overwhelmed, I look at my habits and I’m like — shit, I’m doing it again. I’m overstimulating myself.
Our brains should not be full all the time. How do we change this? Start by eliminating notifications.
People think I’m crazy but I don’t have emails on my phone and I only have notifications on for phone calls and sales.
If it’s an email, if it’s important, it can wait until I’m at my desk in work mode and ready to handle it. Otherwise, I’m wasting brain space by thinking about them two, three, four, times, instead of just doing it once.
Put some distance between you and your phone.
I always put my phone down with the screen down. Or I’ll put it in a drawer, or charging in a different room — somewhere where I have to physically go get it.
One really big hack that has helped me with my phone, and especially social media usage, is that I film all of my content outside the Instagram app.
It’s better quality footage, with no distracting notifications. I take photos and videos throughout the day and then batch them later.
Then, you can really think about what you’re posting, write great captions, and it doesn’t take you out of the moment if you’re with your family or friends, which is a bonus.
What didn’t work for me.
Lots of people have a work phone and a personal phone. For me, this overcomplicated things.
I became half-way reachable on both, instead of fully reachable on one. It overcomplicated my contacts, and how my team contacted me.
It made more sense for me to keep Slack, etc. on my personal phone and just turn off notifications.
There are some other things you can do. For example, turn your screen from white to black mode which supposedly reduces the blue light and dopamine hits. Personally, I don’t like the black mode so this didn’t work for me either.
Mainly, you just need to understand what tasks you should be focusing on and change your notification settings so that it doesn’t distract you.
To help you do that, I have created a free guide which will help you manage your time and tasks more clearly. You can get it here — Time Workbook!
This can help you organize your time and priorities more clearly — then, just get those distracting notifications out of the way and you will really start to see your productivity skyrocket.
Listen to this episode via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts, and search for episode 154 of The FastForwardAmy Show.
PS: If you want to work with me but aren’t sure where to begin, head to fastforwardamy.com/findyourfit and answer the questions — we’ll point you in the right direction!
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