Phone addiction is something that affects a significant percentage of smartphone users. It makes users unable to control the use of their smartphones despite credible information that it has various adverse effects, which can lead to socially, financially, and physically harmful consequences. There are no sure ways around how to get off your phone.
Phone addiction involves compulsive overuse of smartphones and forms a part of the more significant problem of technology addiction. Virgin Mobile published research that found that smartphone users receive 427% more messages and notifications today than a decade ago, making getting off the phone a difficult task.
The problem is compounded because many other types of addiction related to technology are often used via smartphones, namely games and social media. They all end up being the problem of how to get off your phone. It is easier to be addicted to smartphones because they are easy to carry and are not an encumbrance. Besides, data plans and wi-fi, which is ubiquitous nowadays encourage this even further.
Usually heralded as a highly productive tool, a phone can just as easily become a pain, interfering with your work, goading you to spend more time on it to the detriment of your business. If you cannot get off your phone, it can stop you from interacting with your customer and your employees as you struggle to stop yourself from constantly watching out for texts.
Phone addiction can create a lot of impulse-control problems too. The usual smartphone user cannot spend more than two hours without it. You likely check your phone for messages or updates every 30 minutes or less, compulsively scrolling through Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Getting off the phone is an issue with you, right?
A study by Frontiers in Psychiatry shows that digital distraction is all-consuming. Ways around how to get off your phone are difficult to implement and follow, despite thousands of studies conclusively showing that smartphones are the cause of much unhappiness, loss of focus, and how you perform as a social creature. Smartphones lead the pack as the most distractive and alluring gadgets since the internet came into existence. It is no longer pertinent to ask, "are you distracted?". You are, undeniably. The question to ask now is, "How do you overcome the addiction and concentrate on important things that impact your life? How do you get off the phone?"
Our phones are the reason we outsource our memories. This causes an unhealthy dependence, even if one discounts the addiction aspect. What was science fiction not long back is right on our phones now - movies, share prices, sports, news, songs. Slowly but surely, we forget numbers and important meeting dates we remembered easily. This practice of complete subservience to the phone needs to change. But again, how do you get off the phone?
The International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland, did a study where researchers took away user access to social media for 24 hours. The reactions of participants were very similar to those that are those of serious withdrawal symptoms. Extreme craving, anxiety, extremely antsy, jittery, crazy. It has also been proven that with a growing dependence on technology, your intellect, and social skills weaken. Your problem-solving skills suffer. You just do not know how to get off your phone. These are traits you need as a business owner, to keep your attention levels focused on the work at hand. You need to fight phone addiction.
Warning signs of smartphone addiction include
- You can't complete tasks at work or home
- You find it difficult to get off the phone
- You have trouble completing tasks at work or home. ou find yourself working late because you are unable to finish it on time
- Isolation from family and friends
- Trying to hide your phone addiction
- Having a fear of missing out (FOMO)
- Feeling of dread, anxiety, or panic if you leave your phone behind
What are some withdrawal symptoms of phone addiction as a Business Owner?
You feel restlessness, anger, and a lack of sleep; you have difficulty concentrating on your customers and their questions. You itch to get the phone, finding it difficult, not knowing how to get off the phone. You easily become irritable and unnecessarily agitated. In such cases, it might be wise to have someone else do the interaction with your customers in the time it takes to for you to fully recover and get over your addiction.
How Does One Fight Phone Addiction?
The time you waste checking your phone is valuable time you can give your business. You just need a sure way of knowing how to get off the phone. If you are a busy entrepreneur, the issue of phone addiction is compounded, and fighting it is all the more important.
Why checking phone addition is good for your business
You will be in a better mental state
The brain cannot multitask; it only switches rapidly between tasks, compromising the quality of your work. You cannot get deeply into anything unless you know how to best get off your phone. Addressing phone addiction will take one huge and continuous task off your brain, allowing it to focus on more important matters.
You'll have better meetings
If you try phone stacking where everyone dumps their devices somewhere to carry on with the meeting, you will notice for sure how productive and fruitful your meetings are. You will devote your full concentration to the meeting and not miss points while you read a message.
You'll be open to more opportunities
Getting off the phone will make it more likely to lead you to conversations and interactions with people and acquaintances, opening avenues for more business.
The Path to Fighting the Addiction
The First Step: Recognize You Need Help
There is no way anyone can help you unless you recognize you need help. You have to be aware that you have a problem that negatively impacts various aspects of your life.
To help you identify your problem areas, keep a log of when and how much you use your smartphone for non-work or non-essential activities. There are specific apps that can help with this, enabling you to track the time you spend on your phone. Are there times of day that you use your phone more? Are there other things you could be doing instead? The more you understand your smartphone use, the easier it will be to curb your habits and regain control of your time.
All that said, addiction can be a difficult beast to tackle alone. If necessary, please get a professional therapist.
Get Rid of Apps that do Nothing for your Business
Several apps aim to claim our attention: through constant notifications, reminders, and rings. Some are of the help: like calendar reminders telling you it's time to call a customer, or that you need to pay your staff, or there is an interview lined up. However, what is far more common, are those that cause unhelpful interruptions at the worst times. Ask yourself which triggers are good for you and which are not. Decide if they serve you as you work towards your business goals.
Here are a few suggestions on apps that may not add much to your business:
- News apps can be helpful, or they can take you off-track and hinder your business. Think of keeping only industry-specific alerts.
- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social apps: Do they help you grow your business? Are you getting customers because of them? Or are they a distraction for personal use?
- Candy Crush and other games: Use them only as stress-busters and comic relief and do not use them at work. They do nothing for your mind but hamper your business.
Change When You Use Work-Related Apps
There may be several work-related apps that are useful to your business. Re address, they should have a particular time slot for use.
Once you delete extra apps and only retain useful ones, it is essential to avoid using those to make up for the idle time. Set a time aside for work apps too. Check Linkedin only if you need to, and not to mindlessly scroll through. Use these apps to network and for nothing else. Once you take those apps out, you will find it easier to figure out how to get off the phone.
For instance, you can block a time in your Google Calendar and remind yourself when you use a particular app. This way, you utilize the app without it taking over your life. Try and rearrange apps so that only your primary tools appear on your home screen. Adjust permissions you grant the remaining apps on your phone to not be interrupted during work. Mute notifications except important callers.
You could also make a habit of checking LinkedIn from your desktop or laptop instead of your phone. That cuts usage down quite a bit.
Use The Following Apps to Check Your Addiction
- Use the app called Moment and monitor your daily usage
- Keep the home screen unattractive so that its graphics don't jump out at you
- Use airplane mode to silence incoming distractions when in meetings or doing serious work
- Unplug your router during nights and off days
- Keep gaps and spaces in your day without using your phone. Idle moments are rejuvenating, and you do not have to always be in an "always-on" state; it makes you more productive if you rest and recoup from our online 24x7 lives to pause for a while.
Stop Compulsive Web Surfing
- Concentrate and sit with your urges - To stop the cycle, you have to identify its genesis. Usually, it starts with an urge to laze around and not do the thing required and to procrastinate. Mindfulness is the right antidote to such urges. Every time you see yourself trying to open a Facebook or Twitter tab, stop yourself, take a deep breath and concentrate on what you just managed not to do. You make a conscious choice now to improve upon it the next time. This will break the cycle, and you will develop self-awareness to recognize your compulsions and work on avoiding them.
- Concentrate on engagement, not entertainment - Mindless browsing happens when you wish to entertain yourself when you want instant gratification. Entertainment is shallow. Instant gratification only stays for an instant too. You will not find fulfillment. You try and focus on your goals and dreams. It wi l be initially difficult, but it will be fine very soon. You could try practical helps like keeping a sticky note attached to the back of your phone, stopping you from using the phone, reminding you why you need to focus on your business instead. You h ve to tell yourself that checking Facebook constantly will take you further from your business goals. Those are the real goals you wish to achieve.
- Create space for your success - You have to help yourself. If you want to succeed in your business, you have to create the space to be able to do that. Twitter, Facebook, even Whatsapp can be very distracting. If you expose yourself to avenues to be distracted, you will get drawn to it. Instant website blocker, if you recognize sites you have a problem with.
Use Phone-Free Zones and Meeting Rooms in your Office
Make sure all meetings are held in specific meeting rooms. There is a practice in some offices of keeping all the phones in a basket before meetings start so that you don't look at the phones surreptitiously between meetings.
Develop interests that force you to stay away from the phone - try reading books, painting, listening to music, calligraphy, yoga, etc., for concentration. Get rid of social media apps from your phones and set aside time to go on social media but stick to those times. Try and do real-world things, meet with friends. If required, keep the phone where you cannot access it easily while chatting with friends - like your bag or the pocket of your jacket you have got out of and have kept hanging. Try doing more fulfilling work like volunteer work, social work, or other mentally rewarding work.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
Accept that you are not perfect and the battle is brutal. There will be brief relapses, you will have to make adjustments and work on it even if you fail initially. These are all part of the journey that will ultimately lead you to a healthier way of using your phone.
Medical Treatment for Smartphone and Internet Addiction
There are a lot of specialists in most places with treatment centers that offer several digital detox programs. This kind of therapy, both individual and group, is quite successful, especially for middle-aged people who have stress and anxiety from businesses.
Our overuse of technology has completely transformed how we communicate and interact with other people. Instead of getting actual face time with the people in our lives, we often hide behind a screen. Although these problems are obvious to almost everyone, the solutions are not so easily understood or accepted. Some people go so far as to suggest you give it up completely and remain device-free till you bring some balance to your life.
To check yourself from this particular addiction, begin by allotting a few hours when you deliberately keep away from your phone. Let yourself experience a few moments where you temporarily release yourself from the expectation of doing something or from looking at your screen. Take a walk outside, go someplace that is calm, or think about your day and how you want it to be. The pandemic has given us an important lesson on how fleeting your business, and indeed, your life can be. As a business owner, you must recognize when your relationship with your devices goes too far.
- Phone addiction can affect your business in several ways - and all of them are harmful
- You have to stop mindless, compulsive web surfing to be able to concentrate on your business
- You can use the phone to stop your phone addiction - use apps to block what you are hooked to
- Developing other hobbies to fill your time can be very beneficial
- Physically separate yourself from your phone. Keep it where you can't see it
- Media ion or yoga can develop mindfulness to help in the de-addiction