The average person spends 5.4 hrs a day on the phone.
If you can cut it by 1 hr, you get almost an extra working day of time per week to create, learn, play, connect.
It’s actually easier than you imagined.
These 3 small tweaks to my day instantly cut my phone time by 20% 👇
1. Keep your phone away from bedroom.
I used to use my phone as an alarm clock like many people.
The problem is it creates the most insidious habit— it conditions you to check your phone last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I used to grab my phone and start checking emails and answering tweets even before I got out of bed.
If you do this, you inadvertently start your day with stress. And your precious morning time, when the brain is most capable, is wasted on the least cognitively demanding activity.
So I got a Google Nest Mini and use that as the alarm clock, and left my phone on the kitchen counter the night before. That instantly cut my phone time by 10%.
So far so good. But once I got to the kitchen in the morning, I picked up the phone immediately and started checking emails again!
Need another solution 🤔
2. Leave the phone out of sight in the morning.
So instead of leaving the phone in the open on the kitchen counter, I started leaving it in a drawer in the living room. You don’t have to do exactly that. The point is to leave your phone out of sight somewhere you don’t frequent when your day starts.
The first few days I would come into the kitchen in the morning, have a little panic (“Where’s my phone drug??”), and feel attempted to go dig it out from that living room drawer. You may have to spend a little willpower to resist that temptation.
But since the phone is out of sight, I find it way less taxing on my willpower to resist it, compared to if the phone is right in front of me. And once you can do this for a week or so, your brain picks up on the new routine and stops looking for the phone.
But what if you legitimately need your phone early in the day? Say, you need to drive to work using the phone GPS. You can still implement the same tactic, but at a different time 👇
3. Set a block of time each day for the most important task and use the phone as a reward.
For me, the most productive time of the day should be used for learning and creating. Those are the most demanding tasks for the brain, and also the most rewarding tasks in the long run.
So to complement my newly established phone routine, I block off at least one hour in the morning every day for pure learning and creating.
Ideally this is the first hour I have in the day. But that’s not always possible. Now when I have other obligations in the morning, I try to get to this “creative hour” as soon as possible. During this hour, the phone is out of sight.
To make the routine self-reenforcing, use your phone as a reward for completing your “most important hour”. I allow myself to check the phone after finishing my daily creative hour distraction-free.
This way your brain gets a dopamine hit whenever you complete your most important hour. It trains the brain to like completing creative tasks more and more.
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3 tactics to kick your phone addiction & get 1 hour of your life back each day:
1/ Keep phone away from bed.
2/ Leave phone locked out of sight while you do important things.
3/ Set block of time each day for cognitively intensive tasks and use phone as reward for completing.