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Three wise practices to use your phone more intentionally

Do you find yourself spending too much time on your phone? Try incorporating a more mindful relationship with technology throughout your day.

Everybody and their mom has come up with a laundry list of tips and tricks to shake their smartphone addiction. Move apps off the home screen, turn off notifications, make your phone grayscale; you’ve heard it all!

But, even after all the manual tweaking and vetting self-control products, you may still find it hard to resist the impulses to reach for your devices whenever you’re feeling bored, lonely or down.

wellness tips

Here’s three unique practices you can start cultivating today that you won’t hear the other blogs instructing:

“Out of sight, Off of body, Out of mind.”

Remember this mantra. Research has shown that your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach. So, keeping your phone on your desk or table is more distracting than keeping it in your pocket, which is more distracting than keeping it in your bag or another room.

That’s pretty intuitive--the farther away the candy, the less likely you are to mindlessly indulge!

wellness tips

In practice, try leaving your phone in your bag during the morning and evening commute. At work, keep it in your bag or place it behind your computer. And, at home, charge it outside of your bedroom, or at least somewhere other than the night table. Don’t forget to keep it on airplane mode!

Sprinkle mantras throughout your digital world.

You may have already placed little mindful reminders throughout your physical world– a postcard here, a memento there. Now that we spend the majority of our waking lives in the digital world, why not apply a similar treatment?

Give these tips a try to make your digital experience a bit more mindful:

wellness tips

  • Set your phone’s home screen and lock screen images to something tranquil, like an intention or quote. Think of something personal to you that will continue to inspire motivation as you’ll be reminded of it all day. Siempo makes this easy to do on Android! On iOS, try Canva. Here are some of my favorites:

“What’s here when there is no problem to solve?”

“The world is a field of practice”

“What are you avoiding?”

  • Change your passwords to a mantra or intention, which helps convert frustrating moments into opportunities for grounding.  
  • Label folders of apps with commands like “Breathe.”  This text will also appear when you search for the app.
  • Schedule mindful reminders. Use Randomly RemindMe (Android) and MindJogger (iOS) to schedule reminders to drink water, check your posture or practice gratitude.
Rule of Tree and Rule of Three

This is a fun one. In between feeling the urge to check your phone and physically reaching for it, you have a choice. And these are meaningful choices. If the average person checks their phone 150 times per day for two quick minutes each time, that results in five hours per day, or nearly one third of your waking life!

We can train this muscle of self control in two fun ways:

  • Rule of Tree: Every time you feel the urge to reach for your phone, pause for a moment and observe your surroundings. In my experience, 9 times out of 10 I will notice a tree or something natural that I had not paid much attention to before, or at least not stared at with complete awe. Then decide if the reason you were reaching for your phone is still important as compared to what is here now. ;)
wellness tips
  • Rule of Three: This one is a bit advanced. Try allowing yourself to check your phone only every three times you feel the urge. It becomes a little reward for exercising self control.

Digital wellness is an uphill battle and continuous journey. But, we aren’t completely powerless. There’s tons of low hanging fruit that can help you balance the power of tech with how it can enrich your life. Take your first step today!



About the Author:    

 

 

 

Andrew Murray Dunn is the co-founder and CEO at SF-based Siempo, the wellness filter for technology. Siempo’s first product turns any Android phone into a healthier digital experience. Andrew envisions a world in which technology supports humans being. He is passionate about personal growth and social change. Follow Andrew on Twitter.

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