Seven ways to help ease up on phone use

  1. Buy an alarm clock. This way you can stop bringing your phone to bed. Also consider hanging clocks on your walls and/or wearing a watch so you don’t need to pull out your phone to see the time.
  2. Put your phone in a basket by the door when you come home. This will keep you from always having your device at the ready whenever your mind wanders an inch. Keep chargers in that basket too, so you can stay disciplined about keeping your phone by the door even when the battery’s low.
  3. Read more paper books. When you get an urge to read or look something up, you don’t need to turn to a device. Reading from paper media is also better for getting to sleep and for rebuilding your attention span.
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone. Most things your phone interrupts your life to tell you about aren’t important. Exceptions might be notifications about scheduled meetings and work emails—but there are other ways to be reminded of those too.
  5. Delete social media apps from your phone. Erecting barriers—such as having to open a browser, type in a web address, and log in—will make you more judicious about when and how often you use social media. And remember to log out when you’re done.
  6. Delete your social media accounts. Think hard about what kind of value you’re really getting from social media. Does it actually make you happy? Does it actually keep you informed or in the loop better than emailing or calling the people you care about? Is being in the loop actually important? There are a lot of good reasons to get off social media for good, but the simplest one is that it just isn’t necessary or valuable.
  7. Get a flip phone. Your smart phone can do a lot of amazing things, none of which you really need. Those few things you might need can all be done in other ways. A flip phone doesn’t require data, so you can pay a lot less for cellular service. Flip phones also have a much longer battery life, and most of them these days still have cameras and Bluetooth connectivity.
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