Even though the launch of the first iPhone may seem like it took place a hundred years ago, in the grand scheme of things, we really haven’t been using smartphones for a very long time. And yet, they have had an immense effect on all of us.
Just 15 years ago, it was unthinkable that one day we would have a solid internet connection in the form of our cell phones.
Nowadays, smartphones are more like tiny computers than phones. And most of us only use them to communicate in the form of text messages. Actual phone calls tend to only be used for formal situations or in the case of an emergency.
And since texting makes us accessible to all our of our contacts at any time of the day or night, it can be exciting to know that someone might send you a message any given minute.
But then there are those of us who have made texting an absolute priority in the course of our daily lives.
It can even reach a point where we hallucinate a phone vibration or a text tone and check, only to find that there are no new messages.
It’s no secret that this obsession with waiting for texts and answering them right away can have an adverse effect on your overall happiness and your productivity.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a basic guide for how to stop checking your phone for texts.
Ask Yourself Why
Before making an effort to check your phone less often, you should ask yourself why you’ve been focusing on your phone so much lately. There are dozens of potential answers to that question.
Maybe you recently started a relationship and you’re just excited to hear back from someone you like. Or maybe you’ve been feeling bored recently you just hope that someone will reach out to you.
When you’ve determined your reason for checking your phone so frequently, you can start to work toward resolving that core problem, in your own time.
Put it On Silent
To help cut down on the chances that you’ll listen carefully for any updated from your phone, simply put it on a silent setting.
Yes, your phone will still try to let you know when there’s a new message or notification, but it won’t grab your attention as immediately as when the sounds are turned on.
You should also consider leaving your phone somewhere other than your pocket. Place it somewhere else in the room, somewhere you won’t be as likely to check it again and again in the span of a single minute.
Turn it Off
A more extreme version of the previous tip is to turn your phone off during certain times of day. Some people may be less likely to use this method since they need to stay in contact with family members or friends in case an emergency arises.
But the truth is, making yourself unavailable for just a few hours each day shouldn’t cause any serious problems.
This is especially true for weekends. Try to turn off your phone for Saturday and Sunday morning. This will give you a chance to spend your time on other activities, no longer losing interest just to check your phone.
If you still feel the urge to check your phone despite your best efforts to ignore it, it’s most likely because your mind isn’t occupied with performing other tasks.
If, for example, you find yourself checking your phone a lot after work, when you have nothing else to do, try to fill this time with useful activities.
Hobbies are one of the best ways to keep your mind focused on a specific task. The more complex and challenging the hobby, the more focused you will be on the hobby, rather than on who might be texting you right now.
Playing a video game, for example, gives you the chance to have some fun while focusing only on the game and what you need to do next.
Chores can also be a reliable way to focus on something tangible in your immediate environment.
Sometimes we forget that real-life interactions with other human beings can be much more exciting and satisfying than texting.
Set aside some time in your daily routine for talking to friends and family members. And when you’re in the middle of a conversation, resist the urge to look at your phone.
It’s not just a great way to stop thinking about texting, it’s also polite and will show the other person that you’re really listening to what they have to say.
Flipping on some entertainment is most likely the easiest solution in our list. All you need to do is find a television show, movie, or online video that attracts your attention.
From there, you can let the video do its work. Just sit back and enjoy. Invest yourself fully in the story being told. You’ll likely get caught up in it and forget about your phone completely, at least for a little while.
While you’re watching something, try to place your phone somewhere far away, or at least where you won’t be able to reach it immediately.
That way, even if you do feel the urge to check for new text messages, you may just decide to keep relaxing and check it later.
Reassess Your Priorities
As we mentioned above, discovering your reason for checking your phone so often is the first step to finding a solution.
But despite your specific reasons for checking your phone constantly, it’s important to recognize that giving less attention to your phone is going to be a positive development and a chance for growth.
Even if you don’t see and respond to a text message for a couple of hours, you are going to be fine. Your friends will not forsake you for taking your time to answer them.
Find other areas of your life that deserve more attention. There will always be something in your daily life that is more worthy of attention than your smartphone.