There are times when our smartphones can be such an unwelcome distraction during our day. We feel we always have to be reachable, and we also have a tendency to check the phone’s screen the minute we have a quiet moment: our mind is so preoccupied with it. But we can make matters a lot easier for ourselves by setting up our phone in a mindful way. That way we maintain control over our phone rather than the other way around. Here’s how:
- Keep the home screen of your phone as clear as possible and only add the apps that you really need to use on a regular basis. This way you avoid the temptation of scrolling mindlessly through, and being distracted by, countless apps each time you open your phone.
- Turn off as many notifications as possible, unless you really have to be easily reached for something. Your emails and social media, for example, can often wait a while.
- Organize your apps into folders as much as possible. This shields you from seeing a screenful of colorful app icons, which (subconsciously) encourage you to click on them.
- You can also set your screen to black and white. This makes it just that bit more unappealing to sit on your phone for a long time. (On your iPhone, go to: Settings> Accessibility> Accessibility Shortcut> Color Filters. Then triple-click the home button and your screen with turn gray).
- Set recognizable sounds for people who are important to you and to whom you want to respond quickly. This way you can distinguish different messages without having to pick up your phone.
- Buy an actual alarm clock so that you no longer have to use the one on your phone. This means that your phone doesn’t have to be the first thing you reach for each morning.
- If you want to open an app, use your phone’s search function to access it. That way you don’t have to scroll through all your other apps and you won’t be distracted.
- The blue check marks in WhatsApp can also be turned off, which means people can’t see if you’ve already read their message and therefore alleviates the pressure of having to respond immediately. You can do this in the app: go to Settings> Account> Privacy> Read Receipts.
- There are also several apps that can help you reduce your telephone usage. Here are three of our recommendations.
*Read more about how to look outside of your screen here.
Text Quirine Brouwer Translation Julia Gorodecky Photography Liz Weddon / Unsplash.com