What You Need:
Step One: Schedule Phone Time For Work & Play
For these scheduled phone breaks, just set a timer, zone out and relax. Once that timer goes, remind that you have another phone break coming up soon and that you can do all those fun (and slightly numbing) things you want to do in just a little while.
Step Two: Interrupting the Scrolling
However, for each X number of minutes you spend on your phone outside of your allotted phone time, add a rubber band and keep it on all day. Add a rubber band each time you feel that you spent more time on your phone then you wanted or estimate how long you spent on your phone and add the number of rubber bands you deem appropriate. For example, if I decided to add one rubber band for every ten minutes I spend on my phone outside of my allotted "phone time", and I spent thirty minutes watching someone make tiny foods for their hamster, I would put three elastic bands around my phone for the rest of the day. I like to keep wide, non-restrictive rubber bands around my wrist so that I can add them around my phone throughout the day. I recommend adding them as soon as you realize you have been zoned out for longer than you scheduled. This way, for each X number of minutes that goes by (I like to do 5-10) there is a direct consequence. It does not stop you from scrolling, but it makes it harder. And, if you are using your phone before your scheduled phone breaks, your enjoyment of those breaks will be seriously diminished the longer you wait and more bands you put on.
Step Three: Keeping Track
Tip: Avoiding Phone Traps
If you are like me, you grab your phone with the full intention of doing something justifiable, only to find yourself sitting in an awkward position an hour later, knee deep in 4 pt. series on something you have literally no need for.
Completely reasonable phone activities tend to start off with the best of intentions, only to become gateways into the subconscious hunt for dopamine boosts. For me, I constantly check my emails, excitedly hoping for messages from my wonderful clients. If there is nothing there, I subconsciously start hunting around for something to give that kick of happiness. I scroll until I find something funny or cute or I play games until I win something and get that jolt to my system.
To avoid this, identify what you do on your phone that feels mandatory, reasonable, or justifiable. Such as responding to work correspondence, communicating with family members, or working from your phone and schedule this into your day. If you are able, plan to work from your phone during your "phone breaks", however, it that doesn't work for you, you may need to plan additional "phone breaks" for work and separate ones for play. Separating work from play, and scheduling time to do both(!), allows me to avoid getting tricked into access screen time when I truly had the best of intentions.
If scheduling time to work from your phone doesn't work you you, I recommend either moving your work onto a laptop or computer if possible, or closely monitor your own habits and, when working turns into anything other then work, begin adding rubber bands for each segment of time you spend.
Good Luck, and let me know how this works for you!
All the best,
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