Do you spend too much time on your phone?
Are you on your phone right now?
It’s cool, you can read this and THEN deal with your terrible tech habits.
I reckon we could all benefit from using technology less but that’s very hard for the following reasons.
- It’s fun
- It’s entertaining
- It stops us having to do other stuff
All this aside, most of us have pretty terrible tech habits and we all wish we had time to do other things like cook lovely meals, spend quality time with our kids/friends/family, read more or learn to crochet sweaters for orphaned penguins. Life is short – do you really want to waste it stalking the comments section of a TV talk show Facebook post schooling Bob from Mt Isa on climate change? Yeah. Me neither.
So here’s some terrible tech habits you need to ditch and some solutions to help you ditch them.
1. You’re a slave to email
If the first thing you do every morning is check your email, this section is for you. Here’s a few things you can do to get out of the grasp of the inbox hell hole.
- Choose a time when you check your email – say 9am and 3pm – and stick to those times only.
- Set a timer. Give yourself 20 minutes, and whatever you get done in that time is what gets done.
- Set email hours and stick to them. If you don’t want to answer emails on weekends, don’t answer emails on weekends. Once you start doing this people figure out and expect you to reply.
- Be brutal. Delete any email that’s not meant specifically for you. Hint: ones that start with Dear Blogger, Hey There, Hi Site Administrator.
- Choose a location for email – like your computer or tablet and only have your email there. Hot tip – remove it from your phone.
- If you get a lot of the same kind of emails write templates for replies. For instance if you have a podcast that people want to be on or you manage an online course and you need to give the same class information. Saves you having to type the whole thing out every time.
- If you work for yourself and have customer service emails hire a virtual assistant on Fiverr.com or Upwork.com to deal with them for you. Give them templates and scripts if you want to keep it a bit more personal.
2. You literally can’t put your phone down
If you can’t watch an entire episode of a TV show without reaching for your phone, this section is for you. Here’s how to exist without your shiny hand rectangle.
- Put a physical barrier between you and your phone. I recommend getting a timer lock box like this one. It seems extreme but really, you might actually need one. I’m pretty close to getting one myself to stop me wasting time on bloody TikTok.
- Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES download TikTok.
- Don’t sleep with your phone next to your bed – use an old fashioned alarm clock to wake up. I cheat by using my Apple Watch (it doesn’t have any social media apps enabled on it) but it works just fine and stops me spending the first 20 minutes of everyday on Facebook on my phone.
- Speaking of watches, use one. I have an Apple Watch but I have all notifications turned off so it’s basically a watch that tracks my exercise.
- Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES download TikTok.
- Go outside without your phone. Even just to the shops or for a walk. Even if you have children you can do this. Leave them with a responsible adult and go for a walk for 45 minutes. If one of them breaks their leg, it will be still be broken when you get back. Promise.
- If you have an iPhone go to <settings>, <screentime> and get ready for the shock of your life. Below is a screen shot of my screen time. I’ve spent an average of 4 hours a day on my phone this week. FOUR HOURS!!! That’s nuts. This includes all screen time including googling stuff and messaging people and also my job is social media but still, that’s a lot of time I would have rather spent doing something else. Check this regularly, feel the shame and try to cut back. Next time you’re having whinge about how you don’t have time to read a book/go to the gym/do something nice, this might be the answer why.
- Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES download TikTok. I cannot stress this enough.
3. You can’t stop clicking around aimlessly on your computer
If you often sit down at your desk and you can’t stop flicking and clicking between tabs, this section is for you. Here’s how to get your work done without procrastinating by Googling the lyrics to Bare Naked Ladies One Week to make sure you’ve got them right. “What the hell is dans la maison…?”
- Download SelfControl App and literally block yourself from looking at Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and whatever else you waste your time on.
- Set timers. Give yourself 20 minutes to do whatever it is you’re doing and you can’t ‘check’ anything until the timer dings.
- Disconnect the internet. If you’re writing or doing spreadsheets (is that how numbers people say it? Do you ‘do’ spreadsheets?) and you don’t need the net disconnect it! Powerful right?
Extra homework for the keen beans…
I asked on Facebook the other day what my readers were struggling with and the overwhelming response was… overwhelm.
So I wanted to pop this together as a starting point/reminder that it’s all about progression over perfection. Making teeny changes every day for the long term benefit.
Now put your phone down and do something wonderfully pleasant!