Keep your smartphone from derailing your day: 4 keys

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our smartphones: Being able to stay connected is critical for both our work and home lives … until you realize you just lost 45 minutes of your time mindlessly scrolling!

Of course you’re not going to ditch your phone completely. But there are steps you can take to minimize your reliance and make sure it doesn’t eat up too much of your day. And science Journalist Catherine Price has a strategy that works.

Price is a speaker at this week’s Pennsylvania Conference for Women (Women’s Leadership Today will be there, too, bringing you back all the best insights – stay tuned!). But before the event she shared how she keeps her smartphone in its proper place:

  1. Take a trip to the supply closet. A simple rubber band can keep you from doing that mindless smartphone use we do often without even realizing it. The rubber band serves as a “speed bump” to your brain when you reach for your phone. Since it’s not something you expect to be there, your brain takes a beat to process why it’s there. And there’s your chance to ask yourself whether you really need to be on your phone. Sometimes the answer is yes, but having that extra check in place will give you back time when the answer is no.
  2. Pick your “no phone zones.” Of course you know the phone is supposed to stay off the dinner table and out of your bedroom. But have you made the same kind of phone-free spaces at work? Whether it’s in staff meetings or for an hour each day at a specific time across your entire department, you’ll find your co-workers appreciate the same freedom from their devices (even if it takes a little getting used to).
  3. Invest in a “real” alarm clock. Most people use their phones for this. But 1. That means your smartphone is in your bedroom, and 2. It ensures you’ll start opening emails, checking texts, etc., the second you open your eyes. Not the best way to start your day! Better to charge your device outside your bedroom and let a good old fashioned clock signal the start of your day.
  4. Go to the second screen. It’s easier not to keep checking what’s new on Facebook or Instagram when those icons aren’t right on your home screen. By moving them to a second screen you’ll have to work to get to them and may just do it less often.

Give yourself a week and see how many of these you can try. Good luck!

Do you have any tips that worked for you to keep your phone from eating up too much of your time? Share it in the comments below.