Taking Control of My Phone Use

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I am addicted to my phone. I take my phone everywhere (including the bathroom), I leave it on my desk at work, place in on the passenger's seat of my car, pull it out during dinner dates and functions, and I never ever ever leave my house without it.

After reading the book How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price, I felt the urge to know exactly how, when, and why I use my phone. For an entire day I wrote down every single moment that I picked up my phone. I pick up my phone the second I wake up, look at it though breakfast, take it to the bathroom with me while I get ready for work, hold it in my hand when I’m in the elevator, check it before I pull out of the parking garage, look at in the drive thru, pick it up when I park my car at the office, and take a quick glance before I turn on my laptop at work. And that is all before 8:00 AM.

The day after I wrote down all of the times I picked up my phone, I turned the Screen Time setting on my phone to get some more concrete evidence. On average I spend over 5 hours on my phone every day! I pick up my phone about 80 times per day and spend anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours on Instagram. This tends to spike on weekends and evenings when my husband isn’t home.

I have to admit, I was embarrassed when I saw how much time I spend on my phone. Imagine how much I could do with an “extra” five hours a day. I could spend those hours reading and writing, or working out, or catching up with my family or or or.

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing my best to take control over my phone use and I’m happy to say that my screen time has gone way down. Here are 5 things that I’ve done to help minimize my phone use and start using my time wisely.  

1.    When I’m at home, my cell phone stays on the kitchen counter. I do NOT carry it from room to room so that in moments of boredom I reach for a book instead.

2.    I leave my phone in my purse at work and in the car. The only time I check my phone at work is on my lunch or during a break.

3.    I leave my phone in my purse if I’m out for dinner, visiting family, or at a family function - I had no idea how much I was missing out on!

4.    I set a amount of time on my Instagram use - I can only be on it for 15 minutes a day before I get locked out. I also made sure that I can only use the app on wifi, which curbs my Instacravings during while at work.

5.    I pay attention to my Screen Time app, it’s a personal victory when my usage is down at the end of the day. Before bed, I like to think of all the things that putting down my phone made time for instead.

Do you have any tips to take control of your phone use (and in turn your life)? Let us know!