As you may have seen on the With Cheryl Instagram account, I recently finished my favorite non-fiction book of 2018: Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. While the book offers TONS of great advice to “help you actually create more time in your day for the things you care about,” some of my biggest takeaways involved disconnecting from your phone.
According to a 2018 Nielsen survey, American adults spend over 11 hours a day interacting with various types of media. I don’t know about you, but I can think of many other ways I would like to spend almost half of my day! And, that was made even more evident as I read Charles Chu’s article, “The Simple Truth Behind Reading 200 Books a Year“. While the post delivered tactics for reading 200 books a year, it made me realize how often my actions and priorities aren’t aligned—and I’ve been working hard to change that.
Today, I wanted to share some of the tactics I’ve put into practice to disconnect from my phone and connect with what really matters to me. Let’s jump right in…
- Put author Jake Knapp’s distraction-free phone tips into practice (which is explained in even more detail in Make Time. Seriously, go buy the book).
- Remove all apps from the first page of your phone so that each time you open your device, you see just your background photo and are forced to pause and think “Am I going on my phone for a reason or am I just doing this out of habit because I’m bored?”
- On the second page of the phone, have only the apps you want to use to be productive. For me, that’s Calm, Podcasts, Compose, and Google Calendar.
- Move social media apps to the last page on your phone so you have to consciously, versus habitually, open the app.
- Install Momentum on Chrome so that each time you open a new tab you see a beautiful photo that makes you pause and think about how you are choosing to spend your time. (I also plan my a daily highlight and add it in Momentum each morning.)
- Utilize Apple’s new Screen Time feature. This new feature of iOS 12 allows you to set daily time restrictions for apps, provides a daily/weekly report of how much you used your phone, and more. (I suggest making this the first widget on your “Today View” so you consistently see how often you are using your phone.)
- Set personal time limits each time you open social media apps. Pick a time you’re allowed to scroll until and once the clock hits that time, sign out of the app—no excuses.
- Deactivate/delete apps. (I just deactivated my Facebook on December 5th and immediately realized how often I was unconsciously checking for updates on my computer. I’m so glad I finally cut the cord.)
- Download the Compose app, which allows you to email yourself without getting distracted by new emails. (As I previously shared on Instagram, emailing myself is how I keep track of important things I don’t want to forget.)
- Follow people on social media that inspire you ONLY. Unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.
- Limit the number of newsletters you subscribe to (which should still include With Cheryl’s weekly emails, of course!). Unsubscribe to anything that you don’t get excited to see in your inbox. (Try Unroll Me if you want to get rid of a bunch at once.)
- DO NOT check email in the morning (unless you set a goal for yourself to tackle things that are in your inbox).
- Listen to inspiring and productive podcasts only. (Check out some of my favorites here.)
- Work with your phone far away from your work space and upside down so you aren’t distracted by new alerts.
- Limit your notifications to only those that are necessary. (I get notifications for 2 things: new texts and missed calls. They rest I will see when I choose to open that specific app.)
- Keep your phone out of your bed so you have to physically get up to turn off your alarm.
I always want to practice what I preach, so I will be taking my own advice and disconnecting for the rest of 2018 so I can enjoy really enjoy my time with my husband on our Honeymoon!
With that being said, I want to thank each of you for being a part of the first year of With Cheryl. I’m so honored and lucky to have each of you on this journey with me and I can’t wait to continue to grow together in 2019!