You know how in the movie Lord of the Rings, Gollum refers to the ring as his “precious”? Sometimes I totally feel that way about my phone. I feel like I have to have it with me all the time and that I have to keep checking it every five seconds. And then I get lost scrolling and scrolling forever and wasting soooo much time. Arg!!! I do NOT want my phone to be “my precious”! I just want it to be a tool that I use. It’s a constant battle for me, but I just wanted to share a few things that have helped me to keep my phone under control…
- Silence! – I keep my phone on silent all the time. In fact, I have no idea what my ring tone even sounds like anymore. I decided a couple years ago that I don’t want my phone interrupting my real life. I want to be present when I’m having a conversation with someone and not get interrupted by my phone. I don’t want my kids to see me run to my phone every time it rings (like Pavlov’s dogs for crying out loud!). So I turned off all the sounds… (I don’t even have it on vibrate because that’s just as loud as a ringtone sometimes.) Ahhhhhhh. Silence is golden!
- Turn it OFF – I turn my phone off every night around 7 or 8pm and I leave it in the kitchen all night long. I get it the heck away from me. I don’t turn it on again until about 7:30 or 8am (after I do my morning routine…see post below). I have been so much more productive since doing this. Instead of wasting time every evening endlessly scrolling, I actually work on projects and other things that are important to me. I LOVE turning it off in the evening and putting it away for the night. (P.S. I heard on a podcast once that when you actually turn your phone off, instead of just leaving it in another room, it creates a physiological response so you don’t feel like you need to keep checking it. It shuts it down in your mind too and lessens the attachment to it. So I love turning my phone OFF!)
- No notifications – That’s right. A few months ago I went through all my apps and turned off every single notification. That has been so freeing! Pinterest, Instagram, Pandora, Facebook, YouTube… you name it. I turned all those notifications OFF! I will check social media when I want to, instead of when my phone tells me to. I even turned off my email notifications. I was a bit nervous to do that one, but it has been just fine. I have felt so much more relaxed and free since doing this. The only two things that I allow to come through are calls and texts.
Several months ago I was watching a YouTube video on my phone (and it was a good one I’m sure!), and all of a sudden I had this thought come into my mind that said “It’s time to be done with this. There are more important things for you to be doing.”
I loved watching YouTube videos and I justified it because I was watching good videos that I was learning things from. But… it was taking up more and more of my time and I was becoming less present with my kids and husband. So I listened to that inspiration and turned off that YouTube video right then and there. I even deleted the YouTube app completely off my phone.
Suddenly I had a bunch of extra time on my hands and I wasn’t quite sure what to do without my favorite time waster anymore. But I quickly started filling up my time with things that were more important and more meaningful. I started getting more inspiration because I actually had the head space for it. I’ve had a bunch of cool things happen in my life since then, and I can trace a lot of it back to that decision that I made to be more deliberate with my time and not let it get wasted by my flipping phone! Best decision ever!
Anyway, what do you do to be more deliberate with your phone and social media?
I always need more ideas, so please share below!