Fun Fact: I had an Instagram account before having a smart phone!
I tried so hard to find out-of-the box ways to run a business and avoid getting sucked into joining the smart phone club. Why? I knew I would get addicted. I knew I would be on it way more than necessary and I would become "that mom" on her phone while the kids play on the playground.
Eventually, I surrendered. I conformed to the world and caved. Finding an affordable and quality flip phone become increasingly difficult as did communicating with those that did have smartphones (which was just about everyone). At first, it wasn't too bad! I was able to use my phone in moderation and I was enjoying features such as the GPS and Camera. However, with time, I grew increasingly dependent on that little rectangle.
As my business grew, so did the addiction, and the excuses. I would tell myself, "I just need to check this email first" or "I'll post to Instagram while the kids are eating breakfast." While these actions in themselves are not harmful, I got sucked in. What started off as "checking my email" would turn into browsing facebook which would turn into reading some article and next thing I know I'm adding bed sheets to my Amazon shopping cart! Day after day, I would tell myself I needed to be on my phone less, yet day after day I would find an excuse to pick it up time and time again.
With the Lenten Season upon us, I decided it was a good time to do something about this habit once and for all! I had to implement a variety of strategies to kick the addiction but am happy to report I picked up a book during the baby's nap today instead of my phone and it felt so good.
Here's what I did to counteract my phone addiction:
Formerly known as "Kitchen Safe" this tool is much more than a kitchen accessory. This is a safe that operates by a timer. The user simply places an item in the kSafe, rotates the button to set the timer and presses the button to activate the lock. Once locked, there is no going back until the timer reaches zero. It can be locked for as short as one minute or as long as ten days and can be used for anything from candy to sell phones to cigarettes. I use the safe in conjunction with YourHour to limit cell phone use. It was a big decision to drop the money to purchase this safe but it turned out to be a huge investment in my productivity and well worth it.
CLICK HERE to shop for your own kSafe!
YourHour is an app that can be downloaded directly to your phone. The app is free with options for paid upgrades. There are a lot of things I love about this app. First, you can choose challenges. Everything is more fun when it's a competition, right? My husband and I both have this app so we compete with the challenges to see you can get the most points. The challenges are personalized to fit your addiction. For example, if Instagram is your most frequently used app, your first challenge may be to take a two hour Instagram Fast. Badges are earned for each completed challenge. This is when the Ksafe comes into play. I will set as many challenges I can at once and pop my phone into the safe for the length of the challenge so there isn't any temptation.
The app tracks how often you unlock your device as well as how much time you spend on it. You can set goals for both of these and block usage once the goal is exceeded.
There is so much more within this app to help fight phone addiction. I am not paid to say this - I highly recommend it!
CHECK IT OUT HERE
3. Keep it out of Reach
When out on the town, I understand wanting to have your phone with you and not locked away. Smartphones are great for finding your way around and giving a sense of security. So yes, bring your phone with you when heading to the playground or library but keep it out of reach. Checking your phone's home screen can become rhythmic and habitual and is much less likely to happen if its not in arms reach. Keep your phone in your purse or in the car when out with the kids. You can get to it if you absolutely need to, but the itch to constantly check your notifications won't be there.
My goal in creating this website was to help parents spend quality time with their kids. So grab your phones, search for a new playground, library, or play area, then lock it away and let the memory making ensue.
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