You have not only discovered the negative aspects of the overuse of devices but you have also found ways that you can fill your time that will benefit you even more. However, you will have to use your phone at some point.
You may finally have arrived at a point where you feel you can successfully control your behaviors, and not one where you allow your behaviors to command you against your better judgment. The next and final step is where you begin to cultivate better phone habits.
There are ways to interact with your phone healthily. You have to be strict with yourself if you know that you have addictive tendencies and have a habit of rescinding your word. Make yourself a promise that you will continue to take phone addiction seriously, even if you feel you have “mastered” the problem.
Truly, you will never be able to master addiction. No person can if they are speaking honestly with themselves. You can only become conscious of your triggers and become familiar with ways that will keep you on the right track. This conscious awareness will allow you to notice when you start to slip back into your old ways and prompt you to find alternate solutions.
Ultimately, this last step is the most important because it will guide your habits and behaviors long beyond your initial undertaking of this process. These are the habits you will employ from your mental tool belt for the rest of your life in regards to healthy phone use.
Keep yourself on a schedule for when you can and cannot access your devices. Refer to these periods as you designated “Phone Time.” During this period, you can do what you like. Similar to the example of a proper diet, consider this like portion control. You can still have something you enjoy even if it is not exactly healthy for you, so long as you have it in small doses.
During these scheduled periods where you allot time on a device, you can do whatever you want. This will decrease the likelihood that you will “binge” and reverse all of the efforts you originally dedicated to maintaining discipline. If you are a parent implementing this for your child, they will know when to expect to use their phone and find themselves craving less and less time on a device.
Also, consider having “no phone zones in your home. The bedroom is most definitely one of them, or it should be at least! However, it is encouraged that you have more than one “no phone zone” to increase the likelihood of success. Make the dinner table a zone, as well as the living room. It is easier to not use a phone when you are not allowed to use it in a specified area.
Turn off notifications from your phone and keep them off. You should already be aware at this point that notifications are simply temptations to keep you hooked. This is a quick and easy way to remove the temptation from your life. Not only that, but it will declutter your mind as you will not have to sift through meaningless notifications throughout the day anymore.
Whatever you do, do not rely on an app to get you to stop using apps.
This is a very common thing that people try to do, and it is done in good faith but it is very rarely successful. This is not a successful technique because first and foremost, you are still using your phone! In a worst-case scenario, you may even become addicted to checking your phone usage levels. This will 50 OVERCOME PHONE ADDICTION most likely only depress you further and you will just try to distance yourself by switching to another app.