Youâ€™re about to start cooking dinner when you have a question about the recipeâ€¦ what can you substitute for tarragon? So you pull out your phone to type your question into Google. But what happens first? You see a new text message, notifications from 3 different appsâ€¦ By the time youâ€™ve finished checking everything out youâ€™ve completely forgotten why you originally grabbed your phone in the first place.
Does that sound like something thatâ€™s happened to you? Itâ€™s probably happened to most of us!
We have so much to do, yet our smartphones tend to grab our attention and hold it for longer than weâ€™d like to admit. Most of the time we donâ€™t even notice the way our phones take over our minds. We donâ€™t realize how addicted we are (technology is almost as addictive as gambling) and how much it influences our decisions.
How can we avoid reaching for our smartphones so often?
The trick to helping yourself break your addiction to your phone is by questioning it. Before you pick up your phone for one reason and then begin mindlessly scrolling, answer the 5 Wâ€™s.
Next time youâ€™re about to grab your phone, mindfully ask these questions:
Are you with people whom you should be paying attention to?
Are you checking your phone to communicate with someone that isnâ€™t with you?
This one question could be the only question you need to ask yourself. If youâ€™re with someone, a friend, a significant other, a dateâ€¦ then keep your phone away. Even if you see this person every day, it can still harm a relationship if youâ€™re both constantly looking at your phones throughout the day and not actually spending time enjoying each othersâ€™ company.
What are you planning to use your phone for?
If you donâ€™t have a good answer for that question, then you donâ€™t need to look at your phone. Many of us will mindlessly pick up our phones and begin scrolling without any intentionsâ€”we donâ€™t know what weâ€™re doing. On the other hand, if you have a specific task youâ€™re planning to accomplish itâ€™s less likely that youâ€™ll get distracted by other notifications and apps.
It it urgent? Can what youâ€™re about to do wait?
Sometimes, yes, it is urgent and canâ€™t be done later. But the majority of the time itâ€™s something that can waitâ€”and if it can, then do it later!
Are you happy with where youâ€™re at right now?
This could refer to either your current situation or the actual physical location. This can be a great mindful way to check in with yourself and make sure youâ€™re headed down the path you want to be in life.
Are you trying to escape an uncomfortable situation, boredom, or stress?
Sometimes we just donâ€™t want to deal with our emotions and find it easier to ignore them by focusing on something elseâ€”like our phones.
Ask yourself these questions the next time you reach for your phone. I bet youâ€™ll discover that what you were about to do wasnâ€™t really all that important in the present moment.