4 Ways to Be More Mindful When Using Your Smartphone

| 4/6/2018 11:52:00 AM

Raise your hand if any of the following examples sound familiar. When the alarm goes off in the morning, you pick up your smartphone to see if any texts have come in overnight. Or, when you’re standing in line at the grocery store, you try to catch up with a few emails. Even when Mother Nature is at her best with an amazing rainbow or sunset, your first thought is to capture the moment on Instagram.

If your hand is in the air (and your smartphone in the other), it might be time to examine your relationship with your phone. If you are ready to use it more intentionally and deliberately rather than out of force of habit, the following tips can help you to do just that.

friends sharing smartphone at restaurant
Photo by Shutterstock

Keep It Out of Sight

A great way to reduce your digital distraction is to keep your smartphone in another room or hidden place for a good portion of the day. When you’re trying to finish a project for work, put your phone in your backpack or purse, and when you’re painting the guest bedroom, keep your smartphone out in the kitchen where you won’t be tempted to check your texts.

Ironically, you can use your smartphone to help you reduce your smartphone use — start by downloading the Forest app from the iTunes store. The app allows you to 'plant a seed' that will gradually flourish and grow into a tree if you leave your phone alone.

Create Rules for Yourself

If you have kids, you probably have rules that dictate how much screen time they can have. Now it’s time to do the same for yourself. Come up with a list of times and places when using your phone is absolutely forbidden and stick with it. For example, when you’re at dinner with friends or family, out walking or hiking, cozied up on the couch watching a movie, or when you wake up in the middle of the night. As a bonus, you will be such a great role model, your kids will certainly notice that you’re following your own smartphone rules and they may be inspired to do the same.