We could probably all admit that we spend a little too much time on our phones. Whether we’re falling behind in classes, or finding that sitting down with our phone at the end of the night is our new ‘relaxing’, a lot of us seem to fall into a nasty routine with these wonderful devices. While I’ll never doubt how great phones have become, we have to remember - we did survive without them! Here are some of my top tips to taking charge of your phone again!
Ben Warren once said, ‘what if we spent more time charging ourselves instead of our phones?’
It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? We all know the stress we feel when our phones get below 20%. The dreaded ‘low power mode’ kicks in and you feel like you’re walking on edge. Except for these days, half of us walk around so drained and exhausted that it’s like we’re on low power mode instead.
You may be thinking, without our phones how could the kids get a hold of you, or your husband let you know when he’ll be home for dinner, how could you remember the shopping list or answer your emails on the go? While our devices have become an amazing tool to help us multi-task, work from anywhere and stay connected they’ve come with some major downfalls in the productivity and mindfulness department.
When it comes to refocusing ourselves, we first have to find our WHY? Why is it important to detect ourselves from our phones and refocus on what’s in front of us? Your why might be unique to you however these are my reasons:
In order to change this relationship I have with my phone, I have to reinvent what and how I use it. Redefining what my phone is, a tool which I can control prevents me from feeling like it’s something I rely on, fall back onto or find security in. For me, my phone is a source of inspiration, contact with family/friends, and a record of important things to remember (whether this is photos or to-do lists). Everything else I use my phone for isn’t as important. To help visualise this change in definition, I like to change up my iPhone background and ensure my apps are kept to only the essentials. This means that my iPhone is a place which mirrors the type of organisation and control I wish to have over my own life.
To help you redefine what your phone means to you, we’ve collaborated with Collective Leigh - a stunning local graphic designer in the making - to bring you these gorgeous iPhone backgrounds! Be sure to download these to your camera roll and set them as your lock screen and home screen!
Taking control of our devices enables us to not let notifications interrupt our daily lives. We can further this by heading to the settings on our phone and muting off any unwanted or non-urgent notifications. I love to do this with all social media applications, emails, and even text messages sometimes! This means that when the particular time of day arrives when I have a moment to check my emails, messages or notifications, I can set an alarm or time limit and tackle as many as the time limit allows.
‘Do not disturb’ is another take on this. I love using this when I’m driving to prevent distraction however it’s also great during family nights or when you’re finally catching up with friends. There is a function which breaks the ‘do not disturb’ once you’ve received 3 calls from the same number which is perfect for any times of emergency.
One of the great things about iPhones is that we can always come back to them. Whatever text or email you just received will still be there in a few hours, but the moments, opportunities and people in front of you won’t be. So reprioritise and let the good times flow! Leave the non-urgent tasks at the bottom of the list, or for you to review when the time is right.
“Refrain from using your phone first thing in the morning this completely cuts our brains opportunity to be in a Theta state because it immediately forces our brains into a state of consciousness (Beta). It’s also a very vulnerable time for our brains, therefore if you wake up, check your phone and see a distressing text message or read a horrible article it’s likely to sit at the forefront of your mind for the rest of the day! Set yourself a goal to not use your devices until after breakfast or until you’ve accomplished one of your top 3 to-do list tasks for the day!”
Simply put, the theta brainwave state is an extremely creative stage of sleep which we experience just as we fall into and out of sleep. During this time we dream, ponder creative ideas and even think up amazing and unique thoughts! Hoping onto your phone first thing in the morning completely cuts short the theta brainwave state and fast forwards you into beta (being awake).
While devices have become such a normalised part of our day-to-day lives, we must remember that there once was a time where we managed to live without them. We didn’t use them as our alarm, nor did we look at them for hours before bed, and we certainly couldn’t let them interrupt special moments throughout our day.
It’s time we took charge and realised the impacts of our actions not only on our own mental and physical health but also on our relationships.
What steps are you going to take this week to help support better usage of your devices?
Don’t forget to download the beautiful phone backgrounds provided to us by Collective Leigh!
From our home to yours,
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!