Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tips to Unplug #NYG

A big one for this year was to start unplugging from my cellphone. At this point it has more or less become a permanent fixture on my hand to the point where I will just casually glance at it multiple times in a hour for no reason at all. Whether it is to check the time or scroll through the same Instagram photos over and over, it's really gotten to the point where it just needs to end. This year one of my New Years Goals was to leave my phone alone for three hours a day. When I first started I didn't specify if it would be continuous or just accumulative throughout the day but it has turned more into a challenge to do a consecutive three hours. I have some tips on what has worked for me so far to share!
  • Out of sight out of mind. This is probably the easiest one, shove that sucker into a drawer and slam it shut. This seriously works everytime for me and more than once I have left the house, work, etc. without my phone because I just forgot that it was sitting there.
  • Appoint an "electronic warden". Back in college this is the trick that would get me to study for hours during finals week. This definitely requires a second person who is trustworthy and is immune to your tears, begging, and threats. The idea of this one is to allow someone else to change the passkey on your phone so that you are unable to access it. I would say this is the equivalent of quitting cold turkey, so use this only for the most desperate times and when everything else has failed.
  • Do it the app way. A few years back there was that program that rewarded you for not touching your phone but giving water to third world children...or something like that. Basically the idea was the longer you didn't pick up your phone or use it, the more water was being donated. Whether it was a hoax or not, it was real effective at getting people to put down that device. I'm not sure if this still exists and believe me if I remembered the name of it there would be a link, but I know there are self control apps out there that reward people for leaving their phones alone. So if you need a little more of a tangible incentive to unplug, this is a good route to go. I found one called Pocket Points that awards students with points that they can exchange for free food!
  • Set goals/rewards for yourself. Before the drawer trick worked for me this was the best solution for me. I'm a very self-motivated person who works well with incentives. I can tell myself that I cannot check my phone until I get x amount of work done and 9/10 times this works. So set yourself little goals such as doing a certain amount of work at home, or reading a certain amount of pages in a textbook before rewarding yourself with a few minutes on your phone. Slowly you can make the tasks longer and soon you won't even been looking at your phone.
  • Leave it at home. This works with people who don't urgently need to be reached on their phone, or there is another means of contacting them in case of an emergency. Basically if there isn't a life or death situation just leave the dang phone at home!

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