Technology can make our lives so much easier, but it also can make our lives more complicated than they need to be! Cellphones are addicting. Constant messages, reminders, and pop-ups from social media sites result in an unnecessary sense of urgency and anxiety. When we have our faces in our phones, we are not present with ourselves or others around us. Social media makes us feel that we must keep up with everyone and everything online. This leaves us feeling emotionally drained, #stressed, anxious, and even sad. Cellphones are great, but we need to unplug to increase our productivity and energy levels.
Here are 8 tips to simplifying your phone so you can give your mind a break!
- Turn off your notifications.
Do you open your phone immediately when you see notifications? Most people do! Do those little red dots on all of your apps stress you out? Why wouldn’t they?! Having ALL notifications on is a common way that people overuse their devices. If you are trying to minimalize your phone, a simple way to do this is by turning off the notifications for your apps.
If you have an iPhone, you can turn app notifications off under Settings > Notifications. You can switch the settings to completely eliminate all notifications or just decrease the number of notifications you receive and where you see them (lock screen, notification center, banners, etc.) It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of hitting “deny” when new apps ask if they can send you notifications. Once you do this, you will get into a habit of only opening your phone at times that you designate for yourself or when you actually need to use your phone.
- Clear out your feed.
Your social media feeds should actually “feed” your soul. If you follow accounts or people that make you feel negative emotions, you should unfollow them. Remember that engaging in social media is supposed to be a positive experience! Anything that does not serve you should not be on your screen.
- Delete unnecessary apps.
It is so easy to accumulate things on your phone that serves no purpose. Take the time to get rid of those apps on your phone that you rarely use, or apps that you only use to occupy yourself when you are bored. When we keep unnecessary apps, we are giving ourselves more reason to open and use our phones without purpose.
- Skip the mindless scrolling & use your phone with intention.
We have all been here: we open our phones for a specific purpose and then end up scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for much more time than we had intended. Sometimes we use our devices so mindlessly that we do not even realize how many times we open our apps! Try and stick to a purpose each time you open your phone, such as calling or sending an email to someone. After you have completed your task, then put it aside.
iPhones now have a new feature called “Screen Time” where you are able to actually view the amount of time you spend on your phone in specific areas each day. To get to Screen Time, simply go to Settings > Screen Time. From here, you are able to see the amount of time you spend on your phone and set limitations and schedule time away from your screen. This new feature is a great way to become aware of how much time you spend looking at your phone and which apps you use the most!
- Have designated “phone time” for social media, games, news, and other things (pro tip: you can use the Screen Time feature to schedule this as well!)
Along with using our phones with purpose, we should not be using it at all times of the day. Set allotted times each day where you are able to use your phone for personal things and “busy apps,” like games or social media. This way, when you do open your social applications, you will know that you only have a certain amount of time to browse and can better prioritize how you decide to use it. In fact, you can do this through the “Screen Time” setting on your phone. Simply go to Settings > Screen Time > Downtime and set a schedule for time away from your phone, where only apps of your choosing and phone calls will be available.
- De-clutter your inbox!
Is your inbox loaded with junk emails that you end up deleting each day? A cluttered inbox can be a major source of stress from your phone that can be easily eliminated. Try using the app Unroll.me: it is completely free and it links to your emails and allows you to see all of the companies that your email is subscribed to. From there, you are able to quickly unsubscribe from email lists that you no longer want to be a part of. Additionally, you can “roll up” emails that you do want to keep into one daily email summary. This is a great way to cut down on email notifications and make your inbox much simpler to navigate! Here is what the app looks like below:
- Use paper products for planning and productivity!
A lot of people rely on their phones for their calendar, reminders, and other notes. Instead of using technology for planning, try putting pen to paper! At bloom, we offer so many products for all of your planning needs. Don’t know where to start? Check out some of our different planners options here! Don't use a planner? Our to-do pads are awesome too! This can drastically improve your screen time and you will be able to physically check things off!
- Put space between you and your phone.
This is an important tip, but also a tough one. When you are able to, put physical space between yourself and your phone. Start by putting your phone in another room when you are trying to do things around the house. Eventually, you may be able to leave your phone in another room instead of sleeping with it on your bedside table. Yes, alarm clocks do still exist! When our phones are next to us, we are more tempted to use them. Studies show that just by having your phone within eyesight increases anxiety and lowers focus. Keep your phone out of sight, out of mind! This may take some training, but will drastically help with productivity and, eventually, help diminish that sense of panic or anxiety we feel when we are not with our phones. Maybe, you will even leave the house without it for a day! Start by doing this for one hour per week, then eventually, you will start to not feel so attached.
Our phones are only devices, they are not our everything. You have the power to take control of your life! Feeling in control of your life can start with something as simple as simplifying your phone. Unplug from time to time and get rid of the things that no longer serve you.Clear the clutter and make more time for what matters, #bloomgirl!
the bloom team