Have you ever struggled with the amount of time you spend on your phone? MAN... the other day I was trying to be on it less, and it was SHOCKING how many times I picked it up. Over and over again... just to "check it." 15 minutes later I'd realize that I was scrolling Instagram, getting absolutely NOTHING done on my list for the day. 😑
UGH. Why is it such a hard habit to break? I used to create, draw, knit, sew, or crochet in my spare time... and now I find myself checking my phone, scrolling, or playing a game instead. 😩 What happened?
So, I did a little research. And, it turns out, every time you get a notification, a text, or a "like", it's actually acting like a reward in our brains, and can release dopamine in our brains.
YEP. It's like a mini-version of that high you get after you exercise. Hmm.
I don't want to live like that. I don't want my cell phone to be where I get the most "highs" in life. I want that to come from walks with my hubby, chasing the kids around the backyard with a hose, and accomplishing something that gets me closer to my crazy big dreams. 🙌🏻 I'm gonna guess you've got your own ideas of where you'd like your life's "highs" to come from, too!
(Psst... if you're not sure what a purposeful life looks like for you,
then you should consider the "Your Life on Purpose" online course!)
So, here are three ways I'm cutting back on scrolling:
You don't have to be available 24/7.
Yep. You heard me right. A few years ago, I realized just how HOOKED I was to my phone. I'd drop everything to answer it. And then, I remember my Nana Mel. To this day, she will unplug her phone (literally — right out of the wall!) so she can take a nap in peace. She's not being rude to anyone, she's just set up a clear boundary. Her friends (and my family) know that sometimes when you call, she's not going to answer.
And, honestly... think about it in the days before cell phones & answering machines. If someone wasn't home, you just... missed them when you called. And you tried again later. (Or waited until you knew they would be home!) 😱 I know... Novel idea, right? 😆
Turn OFF the phone notifications.
Turn off every beep, buzz, flag, and sound. I have a few things set to make noise/show up on my phone. That's it. For me, it looks like my phone set to ring, my texts set to vibrate, and a special ringtone and text-tone for my hubby (that way I know it's him - he's the only one I drop everything for! 😉). I have a few apps with the little red badges on them, because they're things I want to keep an eye on. And that's it.
This might look different for you! You might need a special ringtone for your nanny, or to turn off your email notifications. You might be happy with no text message notifications (I did that for quite awhile, but I missed some time-sensitive things that I should've answered back quickly).
Use a Countdown Timer.
Your phone has some pretty fun & interesting apps. And... I don't know about you, but it's pretty easy to think "I'll just check Instagram..." and then find yourself watching stories, browsing Facebook, and scrolling on Pinterest an hour later. 😑 So what if, before you let yourself check your feed(s), you set your phone timer for 5 minutes?
I actually thought about doing that this morning, and then got sidetracked by a notification and found myself on Instagram... 😬 Oops.
A few (IMPORTANT!) things to remember:
- If you're a rebel like me, and hate "rules", then setting a timer can feel constraining. (That's half the reason I usually avoid it!) It's really important to remember that while it feels constraining in the MOMENT, it's actually FREEING you to live the life you want.
This is a process, not a one-and-done kinda thing. You're not going to get it right every single time! You might find different tools that work better for you, and that takes trial and error.
- Sometimes, if I've had a rough day, I just want to relax and NOT have to think. 😂 That's when I put on Netflix and play my favorite cell phone game. It's OKAY to let yourself have fun on your phone... remember: It's a TOOL, not your entire life!
I hope you're feeling ready to tackle your cell-phone time, friend. ❤️
How do you waste time on your phone?
Our cell phones (and being constantly connected!) can add to the noise and stress of life, amiright? 😩 If you would like to slow down, (but you're not quite sure how!) join 5 Days to Slow! It's a free course (delivered right into your inbox) that will help you figure out how to SLOW DOWN — right in the middle of your everyday muddle. ❤️