In an article for The Next Web, writer and psychologist Max Ogles set out two big ways you can ‘stop checking your phone like an addict’ – useful advice for us all.
1. Weaken the habit loop
Ogles says phones have a variety of different ‘triggers’, such as vibrations, flashing light and onscreen notifications that pop up. As soon as you see any of these, you’ll reach for your phone out of habit.
So the first thing to do is to turn all of these off.
‘On my phone, I’ve disabled every notification except for text messages and phone calls, which are the primary means of communicating with others,’ he said.
‘I’ve even disabled email notifications, though I did leave the little badge to see how many emails I have.’
2. Keep your phone out of reach
One of the other main reasons it’s so tempting to keep checking your phone is that it’s mobile – that is, you can take it anywhere with you.
So another good way to stop yourself from constantly reaching for your phone is to assign it a place in your home, and leave it there.
Back in the days of landlines (remember those?) we had to plant ourselves in a specific spot in order to ring someone.
Try and emulate that dynamic with your mobile, by keeping it in one place.
‘On the sofa? You check your phone. On the toilet? You check your phone? In bed? You check your phone. If you find a place for your phone, and always leave it there, you can minimise the damage,’ Ogles said.
‘Keeping your phone out of reach will help you wean yourself from the instinctive habit of reaching for it when you’re bored.’