Saturday, November 5, 2011

Change just ONE thing to free yourself from your phone

Like Pavlov's dog, many of us have been conditioned to reach for our pocket or purse whenever we hear a chime. Some people like myself also suffer from a condition that is commonly called, "phantom vibration syndrome"(Read this a great article on the syndrome by fast Company)--Which means you reach for your phone, because you think it is ringing or vibrating, only to find it isn't there.

Yes, I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people who cannot go an hour without pulling out my phone to do something...whether it's checking email, checking in to a location app, updating my social media status, or surfing the web. I even tried going a day without having my phone with me. I felt like a smoker who is trying to go cold turkey. It was really hard.

Then I realized that if I CHANGED JUST ONE THING, one setting, my phone dependency decreased substantially. That one thing was to turn off most of my notifications. You know, the chimes and bells that would go off every time I received an email, or text, or reminder, or...whatever. Because, whenever one of those chimes would go off I would react to them, no matter how unimportant they were. So, by turning off all the unimportant reminders, and only leaving on the important ones, I found I became less of a slave. Phones nowadays are "smart" enough that in most cases you can even select who, what, and when to receive reminders from. If you haven't already, take a few minutes to figure these features out on your phone. This short activity will save you from a lot of distractions and time wasting activities.

Go on, give it a try. Take back your life. You'll be surprised at how liberating this one practice can be. 

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