The fact that we are living in a highly interconnected world of smartphone addicted and easily distracted people is now old news. At this point you have undoubtedly seen countless articles citing studies that link our so called smart devices to drops in productivity, focus and overall contentment.
You are also most likely privy to the fact that smartphone use, like gambling or shopping, triggers a release of dopamine in our brains, making it highly addictive. This means that it’s often too hard for us to drop our phones even when we know it’s in our best interests to stop distracting ourselves.
The questions is no longer “Are smartphones distracting?” but “How can we drop our addiction to smartphone and focus back on real life”. You have no doubt experienced lunch and dinner settings where everyone was too busy on their phones to interact with each other and you might be guilty of it yourself.
If you’ve decided that enough is enough and it’s time to get back to real life, check out the following 3 tips for breaking your smartphone addiction.
Short of physically restraining yourself, the best way to avoid your smartphone is to remove it as a distraction altogether. While practically all modern phone manufacturers are producing smartphones, you can still find an older handset on a second hand market.
Having a mobile phone is important for communication and in emergency situations, but you don’t need all the distracting bells and whistles of the latest smartphones. If you’re looking for an easy way to detach yourself from the habitual scrolling of a smartphone, then downgrading to an archaic handset is a smart way to go.
Make using it less appealing
If you’re unwilling to totally give up your smartphone then consider ways you can make the thought of picking it up less enticing. There are several ways you can do this, such as removing the most addictive apps from your phone or moving them to a folder that’s out of sight.
Another clever way is to set your phone to greyscale so that the vibrant colours aren’t drawing you in. You can also set the phone to “do not disturb” or “aeroplane mode” to avoid any incoming notifications that may distract you.
With that said, disabling push notifications for every single comment reply and thumbs up you get is another great way to reduce distractions.
When all else fails, tricking yourself into adopting certain behaviours through incentives is always a reliable strategy. Think of it as training yourself to stop using your phone as often by rewarding yourself with little windows of use in-between periods of fasting.
The longer you go without touching your phone, the more willpower to build up against using it again. Eventually you will be so used to not using your phone that you won’t crave it anymore and will end up with more time to dedicate to the things in your life that are actually important.
David Smith was born and raised in Calgary Alberta and loves to share his passion for health and fitness with others. Apart from running his own podcast, which uploads weekly shows that covers current health trends, he spends his time canoeing and backpacking. David recently spent a summer working at the CFIA as a health supplement reviewer. In regards to academics, David studied kinesiology at Guelph University.