Challenge Yourself: Breaking Up With Your Cellphone

Happy Monday my peopleeee!! Yes you read that title correctly! As per usual, I’m here to share my random ramblings, in hopes of making you think about some things in your life a little more and to make some positive changes about them.

Last week I read this article about “social sabotage” and how it’s ruining your training (in regards to Crossfit). Social media was a big issue in this article. The writer talked about how your training time should be a complete break from your cellphone, you should put it on airplane mode or even turn it off and stow it away to avoid distraction. I thought about how often I check my phone during my training (A LOT!). Checking a group message, checking notifications, scrolling through Instagram in between sets… it all sounded so ridiculous as I was thinking about it.

So, since then, I’ve been noticing how much I use my phone, inside and outside of the gym. I’ve been reading a lot about cellphone addiction and how to kick it. And I’m really willing to try, even though I knooooow how hard it’s going to be. While writing this, I had to get up and go to the bathroom, and it legit took everything in me not to grab my phone and take it with me. WTF!? Why was that so hard??

We have become so conditioned to checking our phone every 5 seconds. There’s so much psychology behind it, there’s legitimately a dopamine release in your brain when you hear your phone go off with a notification. We let our worth be determined by how many “likes” we get. We scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…. check our email, then by that time, it’s time to go back to Instagram again. It’s a vicious cycle until we realize we’ve spent 40 minutes just sitting there, in a daze. But at the same time, the most-used excuse in the book for not doing things is “I don’t have time.” Really? There’s plenty of damn time, we’re just not being very attentive at what we’re allotting our time for.

So… There’s all kinds of tips and tricks out there to help you curb your data usage, for personal and monetary purposes. These ones are the best (in my opinion) that I’ve found, some harder than others!!! But if you’re willing to make a change, as always, know that it will be worth it!

Keep your phone out of the bathroom and bedroom.

Yikes. This one is going to suck. Everyone I know takes their phone into the bathroom with them. God forbid, you be alone with your thoughts for 5 minutes. I say the best way to kick this habit is keep a book or a magazine in the bathroom. Bedroom… now that’s going to be the really hard part. First step is going to be to stop using your phone as an alarm clock. Most of us spend 20 minutes on our phones first thing in the morning, before our feet even touch the ground. Your phone alarm goes off, and you immediately begin scrolling. Don’t deny it. Sometimes I have to pee so bad but I still sit there on my phone for a good amount of time.

You could have already gotten up, washed your face, brushed your teeth, used the bathroom, gotten dressed, been downstairs making your coffee and breakfast. Most of us feel super rushed in the morning… wouldn’t it be nice to use our time wisely and not have to run around like a crazy person?!

So, my solution for this is to keep your phone entirely out of the bedroom- at night, and in the morning. Both my parents charge their phones downstairs, while the bedrooms are upstairs. It’s definitely doable. I plan to buy an alarm clock, put my phone on the charger downstairs ONE HOUR before I go upstairs/go to bed, and not look at it again until I come downstairs in the morning.

Turn off your notifications, or better yet, delete apps.

Most of us grab our phones immediately once it goes off, whether it’s an email, text, Facebook notification, or Instagram like. The easiest way to avoid this is to turn off the notifications altogether. You’re less likely to open an app when you don’t have a notification for it. Put your group messages on “Do Not Disturb.” You will still receive the texts but they won’t pop up on your lock screen.

If you’re feeling really brave, delete apps altogether. If you are refreshing Instagram every 5 minutes, you should delete the app, because at this point, you’re checking it incessantly regardless of whether you have a notification or not. You can delete the Facebook or Twitter or Instagram apps and still keep your account.

Monitor your usage & set realistic limits.

It sounds counterproductive, but there are apps out they you can acquire to track your phone use. They can tell you how many times you checked your phone, and how many minutes in total you’ve been on your phone. You can set them up for time limits while you’re on the phone, and send you reminders when you’re getting close or going over your time limit.

For people who need numbers and time constraints for structure, this is perfect. You can allot yourself x amount of time on your phone each day, and hold yourself accountable to that. You can say “ok, I’ll give myself 90 minutes of phone time a day, and no more than 15 minutes in one sitting.” Perfect. Vow to yourself not to go over the limit.

Keep it in your car/bag/purse/jacket.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s much harder said than done. Using your phone as a distraction can become a problem in your life in regards to the relationships around you. You can see it anywhere. A couple out to dinner together, both pairs of eyes glued to the phones in their hands. We’re literally missing out on life in front of us. Leave your phone in your bag, or better yet, your car. It’s much less accessible this way rather than having it on the table right in front of you. If you make this a habit, you begin to not even think about it! And you will crave your phone less and less each time.

When driving, keep the phone in the center console, or in your bag. We text and drive far too often, even when we know how dangerous it is! Keeping it out of arm’s reach can be helpful, and safe. If you’re on a long drive, have someone in the car check the phone or respond to texts for you, or check it only at a red light (when you are at a complete stop!!!)

Focus on REAL THINGS you have to get done.

Every day, make a to-do list of things you have to get done. Whether it’s at work, on a day off running errands, or during your training session– write everything down. Promise to yourself you won’t check your phone until it’s finished. Then, you can reward yourself with some phone time. I tried to do this while writing this blog, I said “I’m not gonna check my phone until I’m finished writing.” I failed. Haha, just being honest. This is a true test of your mental willpower. Willpower, like a muscle, gets stronger when you train it. So do it! Challenge yourself!!!

 

 

 

It truly is an amazing thing that we have access to such a wide array of technology today. We basically have the world at our fingertips. I’m not going to try to act like our smart phones are a bad piece of technology. If it wasn’t for smart phones and social media I couldn’t get my writing and this blog out there to the public how I would like. If it wasn’t for smart phones and social media I couldn’t be inspired and motivated on a daily basis by the people I follow on Instagram. But, the way we’ve been conditioned to become so attached to our phones, specifically in this generation, is in no way good for us. So take this challenge with me. Test your willpower. Make positive changes. Prioritize your time. Put what’s truly important first and foremost.

Have a good week everyone!!

2 thoughts on “Challenge Yourself: Breaking Up With Your Cellphone

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