I was watching Sex and the City the other day and became emotionally attached to the scene where Carrie Bradshaw decides to throw her phone into the water because she can’t face the messages piling up on it. I have often felt this way and wondered what it would be like not to own a cell phone. However, I run numerous social media accounts for work so this is not an option. Lately, I have found a few ways to be accessible while still maintaining freedom from my phone.
- Delete all of the apps you never use
These apps could be sending you notifications or purely taking up space on your phone. Deleting them leaves just the basics and your phone looks a lot less chaotic.
- Turn off unnecessary notifications
This is my favorite tip because it made a huge impact. I went through and turned off notifications for retweets and Twitter follows and for Facebook’s reminder notifications. I kept only those notifications that I needed to see such as friend requests or direct messages.
- Stay up-to-date on emails (from 9 to 5)
This can be hard but it makes a huge difference, I check my email throughout the work day and delete emails that are unnecessary. This allows for easy access to the information I do need and keeps the pesky number notification low. This also allows you to not worry about your emails off the clock.
- Turn your phone on silent or do not disturb overnight
If you must have your phone on for emergency purposes, putting it on do not disturb will keep you from waking up unless it is something really important. Once you put your phone down for the night do not touch it, let your mind decompress. I set mine to stop alerting me at 10 every night.
- Edit your friends
Unfollow individuals that cause you stress or you fell out of contact with. Also unfollow brands that overpost to declutter your feed.
- Buy a watch
Sometimes the only reason you have your phone is to keep track of time. Ditching your phone while going on a walk or to run a quick errand can do wonders.
- Move social apps off your home screen
I moved all of my social media apps to the second screen on my phone so that I don’t see the notification bubble when I mindlessly unlock my phone. It also makes me think before clicking on them for no reason.
- Use a planner
I have to put pen to paper while planning out my week. Some people prefer to live by their phone calendar, but a planner is a much more engaging way to stay on task.
Do whatever works for you! If we can disconnect for just a few moments per day, our personal connections will thrive.