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Are You Addicted to Your Cell Phone?

addicted to cell phone, social media, use phone less10 ways to get your life back

Cell phone addiction is becoming a concern as more and more functions are available on your handheld device. Just imagine all the things you can do on your phone: You can check your texts, listen to music, follow social media feeds, watch a movie, read an e-book, look for a job, write an email, get driving directions, take a picture, and don’t forget, make a phone call! It’s no wonder that people are becoming addicted to these amazing devices.

If you feel that cell phone usage may be getting in the way of your studies, social life, or work responsibilities—or worse yet, your driving—you may want to take some steps to get your life back.

1. Be accountable
Use an app like Checky to see how many times per day you are checking your phone. From your starting point, you can try to slowly reduce the number of times you check your phone each day.

2. Get a real alarm clock
Many people use their cell phones as an alarm clock. This means that the first thing they do every morning is pick up their phones. Instead, try getting a real alarm clock, and don’t even turn on your phone until your morning routine is finished.

3. Work first, play later
Make your to-do list every day, and don’t allow yourself to waste time on your phone until your list is done. Some of your day’s tasks may require your phone, which is okay. Just be sure that the distracting apps are off-limits until you are finished with your tasks.

4. Limit your notifications
Do all your apps notify you when there’s something new to see? This can be very distracting. Go into Settings and turn off notifications for all but the most important apps. Also, set special notifications for your family members or closest friends, so you can hear the important pings and ignore the rest.

5. Take time off from social media
Start with one day a week, and tell yourself that you will not check or post to social media that day. If it works, then try for two days per week. You don’t have to go off it completely. Just taking some breaks will show you that it’s not the end of the world if you miss a few days.

6. Have no-cell-phone zones
Certain areas should be no-phone zones. Make a rule for yourself that you will turn off your cell phone every time you have dinner with family or friends, every class you attend, and most importantly—every time you drive. Stick by these rules!

7. Set a phone curfew
Staring into an electronic device right before bed can cause sleep interference for some people. Set an evening turn-off time for your phone. This will help you avoid those late nights of web surfing and streaming mindlessly through social media feeds.

8. Set a timer
If you look forward to your social media time every day, remember that you don’t have to give it up completely. It can still be a part of your day if you manage it more carefully. Get an old-fashioned timer with a loud buzzer and allow yourself 5-10 minutes of scrolling though Instagram or Twitter or whatever platform you enjoy most. When the timer buzzes, your time is up.

9. Tell others that you are cutting back
If your friends expect you to respond instantaneously, you can warn them that you are cutting back. Explain that you may not be as available as usual. This way you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

10. Find other hobbies
If you turn to your phone out of boredom, then maybe you have time in your life for a new hobby. Look for hobbies that don’t involve being online. Try a new sport. Learn a musical instrument. Find a volunteer activity. Read a good book. Learn to knit. Do a crossword puzzle. There are so many things to do with your time!

We hope this article has given you some strategies to manage your cell phone usage. And now your time is up! It’s time to put down your phone, get on with your day’s activities, and get connected with the world around you!

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The Harris School of Business posts helpful tips about time management, student life, and career development in our weekly blog. To learn more about career training programs at our eight campuses, contact us online.

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