It’s around 7:30 am.
Before I can even peel my crusty eyes open all the way, I’m reaching over to grab my phone and check my notifications. I scroll through the various social media notifications and multiple messages from my sister who’s already awake in New York. This is my everyday morning routine. I can’t imagine waking up and not reaching for my phone.
In fact, one time I accidentally left my phone in my car and was too lazy to go out and grab it. (Those of you in Los Angeles understand the struggle when your neighborhood barely has enough street parking and you’re forced to park at least two blocks from your house.)
Anyway, the next morning I woke up and automatically went to reach for my phone. I sat there for a moment and thought to myself, well, do I just get out of bed already? What do I do with myself? Surely I can’t get out of bed yet without checking my notifications, right?
And then, just like that, I got up out of bed about a minute after waking up. I didn’t spend 30 minutes in bed scrolling and scrolling.
There’s a purpose to that anticlimactic anecdote, I promise. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve been exploring ways that I can be my most productive self. I’ve become an avid to-do list maker and an enthusiastic goal setter, but now I’m ready to attack and alter my daily routines.
I decided to change my social media consumption habits and ultimately decrease my overall cell phone usage. As a freelance writer, blogger, and video editor, I’m using my laptop every single day. My phone, however, is really just used to constantly check my social media accounts and occasionally my email. Plus, whenever I get my iPhone’s end of week report on my screen time, I cringe when it tells me how I average about 5 hours each day on my phone. 5 HOURS. That’s mostly attributed to the Netflix and YouTube videos I watch before bed, but still! Here I am trying to be more productive and get the most out of every day. Those 5 hours could be put to much better use.
So here are the steps that I’m challenging myself to try for this next week and hopefully this next month.
Turn off Notifications
I’ve heard this tip all of the time, but I think it’s really crucial. It will be especially beneficial so I’m less tempted to wake up and immediately check my phone to see who texted me, liked my photos, etc. If I wake up to an empty screen, I assume I can train myself to get out of the habit of checking it each morning. That leads me to my next goal.
Don’t Leave my Phone Next to my Bed at Night
If I don’t leave my phone next to my bed, it can’t be the first thing I check when I wake up. My goal is to leave it on my desk, wake up, and go get my morning coffee. While I drink my coffee, I want to use that time to read, journal, review flashcards, or something of that sort. After I enjoy my morning without a screen, then I’ll allow myself to check my phone and open my laptop to get to work.
Keep a Habit Tracker
I’ve recently heard about habit tracking and I think it’s a fantastic idea. It’s essentially a calendar where you can check off the habits you do or want to do daily. It’s great to visually see your goals and habits right in front of you. The more organized you are, the better! I just printed out a great pdf that I’ll link here. I debated on whether or not to include both good and bad habits, but for now, I listed my normal routines as well as ones that I’d like to incorporate as daily habits. Hopefully, by the end of the month, my tracker will be nice and filled in as I complete my daily goals and habits.
If you need more tips, one of my favorite YouTubers made a video on how to break your phone addiction. He shares some helpful apps and methods on how to use your phone less and enjoy life more. Check it out below.
Start paying attention to the amount of screen time you average per day and think about what you could do with those hours. If you’re mostly using it for work, checking emails, making phone calls, that’s definitely understandable. But if hours each day are wasted scrolling through social media when you could be learning something new, try some of these methods above to decrease your screen time.
Think about a day where you felt super productive. You probably got a lot done at work, checked a bunch off of your to-do list, or maybe did something you’ve wanted to try for a while. None of this involved using your cell phone for hours on end. If you can’t seem to break your phone addiction, start making a list of what you would do if you had more time. We all wish we had more time in the day right? We do, we just need to utilize our time in the most effective and efficient way instead of wasting it away scrolling through the social media abyss.
Interested in seeing a productive day in my life? Check out my YouTube video below:
Set your intentions, create new habits, but that phone down, and start enjoying new activities! Join my challenge and try to decrease your screen time this week.
Want more? Check out my post about my April Goals and Manifestations!