For many of us, smartphones have become our constant companions. And they have become an important lifeline as we navigate how to stay connected in the “new normal.”
They’re in our hands as soon as we wake up. They accompany us throughout our days with endless distractions like email, texts, and breaking news alerts. And they are with us as we lull ourselves to sleep.
If this constant connection is in the way of completing important work or nurturing meaningful relationships (your love life included), you’re not alone.
In a New York Times op-ed, author and computer scientist Cal Newport argues that our unhealthy attachment to our devices is far from what Steve Jobs, the visionary behind one of the first smartphones, had in mind. The original iPhone was intended to do just a few things well like help us listen to music, place calls, and find directions. That’s it.
But instead of providing a few basic functions that improved our lives, we now have an always-on constant companion that provides access to endless streams of information and apps that capture our attention, but ultimately leave us dissatisfied and wanting more of what can’t satisfy us.
5 Tips for Improving Your Relationship with Your Smartphone
So how do you change your relationship with your smartphone? Start with these tips:
- Take an audit of your digital life. Take a few moments to pause, reflect, and ask: how is my smartphone adding value to my life? How is it getting in my way? What’s my intention for how I would like to use my smartphone?
- Delete time-wasting apps. Remove any apps that profit from your attention. This includes social media, addictive games, and news apps that clutter your screen with incessant “breaking news” alerts. Your relationships are probably strong enough to survive waiting until you’re sitting at your home computer to log on to Facebook or Instagram.
- Delete your work email. Unless your work requires you to be accessible by email when away from your desk, delete your work email from your phone.
- Buy a real alarm clock. If your phone is getting in the way of a good night’s rest, it’s time to charge your device outside your bedroom and buy a real alarm clock—yes, they still make them!
- Make a list of what really matters and what you really want to be doing with your time. Then make a commitment to do more of those things (e.g. more time with family or going to the gym).
Want to learn how to be more mindful to create and sustain greater well-being in your life and work by utilizing technology already available to you? Look no further! Join us on March 4, 2021 for “Workplace mindfulness, wellness, and productivity: Yes, there’s an app for that!” to hear how you can use technology to help be healthier, more mindful, and more productive.