10 Effective Ways of Breaking Smartphone Addiction [Part 1]

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April 7, 2018
10 Effective Ways of Breaking Smartphone Addiction [Part 2]
April 8, 2018

10 Effective Ways of Breaking Smartphone Addiction [Part 1]

In one of the articles on productivity in this blog, I shared extensively on 150 ways we get distracted by our smartphones. I love the way we have developed as humans and the advent of the smartphone is one of the most disruptive innovations since the creation of the world. The question that we need to answer though is this: are we better with innovation than we were without it?

Before you rush to answer, consider the following:

  • What did you use to do when there was no TV in the house?
  • What did you use to do when TV came but stations opened in the evening and closed just before midnight?
  • What impact did lack of TV, and the telephone have on your time, your relationships, your productivity, your reading and generally, your home life?

In the article I talked of, I said the following about smartphones:

“Perhaps the greatest versatility of Smartphones was with the introduction of Apps. Today, Apps are one of the greatest hindrances of productivity. There are myriads of apps that can be used daily, yet the most popular apps on use today are not productivity apps, but gaming and social media ones”.
~Lawrence Namale

The Pain Caused by Smartphones

The number of man hours that are lost daily world wide due to being distracted by smartphones is staggering. If we could tag a monetary value to the time lost daily when we take our eyes of our work or our passion to scroll about our phones, we would be astonished. But you know, for as long as the smartphones are giving us pleasure in the moment, we are blinded from seeing the cumulative pain that we are causing ourselves daily by being unproductive.

  • There are hundreds of thousands of accidents that are caused each year that are related to drivers or pedestrians being distracted on their smartphones
  • There are hundreds of thousands of relationships that are failing each year because of people being distracted on their smartphones
  • There are hundreds of thousands of families that are no longer deeply connected because they are distracted by smartphones
  • There are perhaps millions of children today that are distracted by smartphones and thus their performance in school is affected.

Bringing it Home

Perhaps the above “stats” or scenarios do not speak to you. Perhaps your relationships are intact, you have not caused or suffered an accident and your children are acing their exams. Maybe. However, let’s take a look at how you might be losing out by being distracted on your smartphone:

  • There are over 10 popular social media sites each with a notification for a post, a message, or a reaction to your post.
  • Smartphones have the capability of storing hoards of movies and series. Probably you have a couple on your device
  • Smartphones have the capacity to stream live events across the world from hundreds of thousands of TV channels about news, sports, business, reality, gossip, jokes, pranks, competitions and so on.
  • An average person touches his phone over 50 times a day!
  • Each time you touch your phone, you spend more time than you had earlier planned because of the notifications that you will find there.

According to Simon Sinek, the same chemical that is released when someone smokes or drinks to get a high is the same addiction chemical that is released when we respond to our smartphone notifications.

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In other words, if we are not careful, we are being addicted to our smartphones. The problem though is that we are not necessarily using these smartphones for purposes of productivity.

  • How many productivity apps do you have on your smartphone for example?
  • How many personal financial management apps do you have on your smartphone?
  • How many personal development apps do you have on your smartphone?
  • How many health tracking apps do you have on your smartphone?

BUT

  • How many social media apps do you have installed?
  • How many gaming apps do you have installed?
  • How many news channels do you have uploaded?

AND

  • How much time do you spend daily engaged using a productivity app on your smartphone as compared to a gaming or social media app?
  • How much time is that per week?
  • How much time is that per month?
  • How much time is that per year?
  • What is your personal worth per hour?
  • How much time (and now money) are you losing each year?

I think you are beginning to get the picture. If we can start living our lives with the view of the urgency it deserves, the message above will take serious perspective.

It will require serious personal introspection. It will require us to make some decisions and take some actions that will help us be more productive than we have ever been.

You know, the founder of Microsoft said it best when he said the following words:

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. Bill Gates

In other words, we cannot blame technology. It only amplifies what we give it. As an individual, have you ever considered what would be the best way to deploy technology for your productivity as an individual. How can technology enhance the deployment of your potential and purpose? These questions have to be answered before we can acquire the technology.

In the next article, we shall take a look at 10 ways you can use to wean yourself from the smartphone addiction. Stay tuned.

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