Excessive phone use. The majority of us are guilty of it.
In fact, the Australian Cut of the Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2017 reveals some interesting stats about our smartphone use, including:
- Australians are checking their phones 80 million times more often than they were last year. Collectively, this is a massive 560 million times per day, or individually, more than 35 times a day on average.
- 49% of respondents multitask on their smartphone while spending time with others.
- 35% of all respondents believe both they and their partner use their phones too much.
- 4 % of respondents claimed they are trying reduce or limit their smartphone usage. The most common way to limit phone usage is keeping it in a bag/pocket, deleting apps, turning off notifications or turning it off all together.
None of these statistics are overly surprising. As someone who rarely has her phone out of reach, I can relate to the desire to limit phone usage. The pressure of always feeling “switched on” can sometimes be overwhelming and I know my ability to focus for long periods of time is impaired by my excessive phone use.
There are definitely times when I would really like to limit the temptation of checking my phone. Watching a movie, playing with the kids, visiting my parents or even doing housework, are times when my phone doesn’t need to be on my radar.
Since I work from home, however, my phone is my lifeline to the outside world. All communication comes via that sleek little device, including emails, contact with school, coaches, family etc. I also use my phone substantially for work.
Previously, strategies such as keeping it in my pocket or turning off notifications have had limited success. The temptation to just send that text or check whether that email has had a reply is too strong (clearly self-control is a well-established issue of mine!)
Then I read this nifty hack utilizing the Do Not Disturb function.
The beauty of using Do Not Disturb or Do Not Disturb While Driving to limit your phone use is that you can let urgent messages through or calls from specific numbers. For example, on school days I can set it to allow calls from school to come through.
Do Not Disturb also turns off all notifications on apps rather than you having to switch them off individually and disables apps so you won’t be tempted to just sneak a quick peak at Insta or Facey.
You can also customize the reply message on Do Not Disturb While Driving to say something like “I’m having a break from my phone right now. I’ll see your message when I get back online.” If people reply with “urgent” their message can break through. Alternatively, repeated calls within 3 minutes aren’t silenced on the second call.
You can schedule times for Do Not Disturb or use it ad hoc. These functions can be accessed from the control panel of your phone making them easy to switch on and off.
I will definitely be giving these hacks a try to limit my phone use at key times. Hopefully, my focus and relationships will benefit!
Do you feel you use your phone excessively? Do you try to limit your phone use, if so how?