Having your smartphone on you all the time can be an anytime escape into oblivion – a diversion from an awkward conversation, a respite from a family reunion, a free pass from a mind-numbing office meeting. If you find yourself constantly consumed in a vortex of push notifications, social media updates, and non-stop email exchanges, you’re likely teetering on smartphone addiction. Or perhaps you’ve already fallen off the ledge.

If you’re turning into a swivel-eyed smartphone-head, there’s no better time than now to cut the cord. Learn to live life by the moments with these five easy tips.

  1. Disable Push Notifications

Push notifications are the digital equivalent of your contact list flashing life updates in your face. In real time. There’s precious little that your phone throws at you that needs your attention right away. Studies show that the brain takes half an hour to refocus after a distraction. But how likely is that when your phone dishes a million updates a minute? Or thereabouts. Do you need to know who watched last night’s Game of Thrones rerun, or who checked in at the airport? Consider which notifications are critical to you, and program push notifications only for those.  

  1. Keep Emails for Later

No one ever said that a clean inbox represents high productivity. While checking for new emails every two minutes can make you feel like you’re on top of your game, it can also be a sign that you’re not focused. That you’re looking for an outlet. Setting designated times for checking your inbox is a great way to build routine into your day. This way, you can address all your emails in one go rather than wasting time going through them individually.

  1. Send Social Media Packing

Yep, exile social media to the outside of your smartphone. Because let’s face it, how much value do social media apps add to your day? Do they give you new insights? Do they help you network productively? Consider a social media detox by binning redundant apps.

  1. Give It a Home, at Home

Give your smartphone a docking place when you’re at home, preferably at an elevation, or a place that makes it hard to reach. This way, you won’t be tempted to pull it down when you’re fidgety or bored. By turning your home into a smartphone-free haven, you can be more present during meals and conversations.

  1. Leave It Behind

Believe it or not, your smartphone isn’t an accessory that needs to follow you everywhere. Ask yourself every time you leave the house, do I need this? Smartphones can minimize the importance of others, so leave yours behind if you feel it will take you away from being present in your environment. An evening at the park with your child, a dinner date with your spouse or a trip to the theater doesn’t require a buzzing smartphone in your pocket.

If you’re reading this on your smartphone, take heart in knowing you learned something from it today. When you’re done, put your phone aside and start your day without it. Learn to live life to the fullest on the other side of technology.

Founded in 2013, OurHealthMate (OHM) is a health-tech startup. Their award-winning services are rooted in a three-pronged service strategy: care planning, business intelligence, and quality execution. We help corporates create a healthy work environment that is engaging and inspiring.

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