How to put down your GD phone – 3 tips

Little known fact about me?

I love the gold iPhone. & kinda hate myself for it a little.  Image by Unsplash.

I hate talking on the phone.

As some point I began to associate my customer service/IT work from before I became an entrepreneur with with phones.  If it’s not work, I’d rather see you in person or text.

And yet now I’m addicted to my mobile.

Is the cell phone as powerful an addiction as a drug?
Is the cell phone as powerful an addiction as a drug? (Image by lechenie-narkomanii)

One of my core beliefs with social is that it should fit between tasks in order to help avoid becoming a time suck. (Except for blogging.)

Unless I’m on for a specific event like a live video broadcast or a Twitter chat? I get on social when:

  • Waiting for something.
  • Bored and have nothing pressing to do.

This has slowly turned into a cell phone addiction- mostly during my bout with cancer, when I was bored a lot.

How I overcame my phone addiction.

First, I started leaving notifications off for longer.

Second, I downloaded apps to help – No phone hour is my favorite.

This third tip was the killer that helped the most.

I decided that a visual cue on my phone might be best. After all, sometimes I was reaching for the phone for a valid reason.

I just needed to pause each time and make sure I was deciding to use the phone, rather than picking it up out of habit.

So I went to Canva,  created a visual reminder, then made it my phone’s background and lock screen image.

Two templates to help you get started

My first try wasn’t great for the iPhone. Too much text, not enough constrast. Here’s what it looked like.

Phone background image that says "when you chose the phone over silence, ask why"
Resized for this example. Click for high resolution image.

I also wanted an image that would remind me what to do instead.

You see, before I became disabled, I used to meditate and sit in silence to think frequently. It was the key to my success, as I have quickly learned upon letting it back in.

So I changed it to this:

I’m showing you both versions in case you’d like to steal one to use on your iPhone 6. All three worked well for Android.

You can also get my Canva templates  here and here.

(We’ll be talking about Canva as a tool in a few days.)

Now, when I pick up my cell, I see the image, and make a conscious decision about whether I want to use my phone in that moment.

I think: Am I picking this up as a knee-jerk reaction? Or do I really need to use an app on my phone?

It has helped tremendously.

I’m told I’m more present. And I definitely feel more balance from sometimes deciding to just sit with my thoughts instead.

Part of the #60to15 series for entrepreneurs on shortening your work week.
Got tips? Did you write about your experiences? Just create a blog post, Instagram post or tweet, and add it to the #60to15 hashtag, then anyone can read your submission. I’ll do round-ups to feature the best ones.