What is your relationship with your phone?

When I opened Edith Zimmerman’s Drawing Links newsletter last week I had a mirror held up to me. I felt my body start to heat up in the way it does when I feel challenged or threatened. I didn’t like it. It’s a feeling I get when I’m confronted with something that I know I don’t like about my behaviour. After I sat with it for a while, I decided to choose to do something about it.

I started by jotting down what it is about my current relationship with my phone that I don’t like. The biggest thing is that I don’t feel in control of it. I get stuck in a loop of checking the same set of apps, and more often than not there’s not even anything new to see. This cycle of checking and rechecking drains my energy, and I know there are other things I could do, and that I want to do more of, that have the opposite effect.

Next, it was a question of what I can do to break the cycle and regain some control. For now, I’ve decided to:

  • delete work-related email and messaging apps
  • set daily time limits for social media (using Screen Time)
  • schedule down time (using Screen Time)
  • leave my phone in another room as default
  • add a question to my lock screen to nudge myself towards more intentional use

I’m seeing this as a month long experiment. Last time I did something like this was at the start of 2019 when I deleted my Facebook account for a month. At the end of the month I felt such freedom that I decided to keep it going. And I’ve never looked back.

If you recognised yourself in any of this, what experiment could you run to help change your relationship with your phone?

Featured image by Courtney Clayton on Unsplash

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This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Gathered Thoughts.

Every month I share an original article and a handful of links on themes of personal development, productivity and living well.

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about emma

I am a coach and facilitator helping people to pause, reflect and make conscious choices about what comes next. In my writing I explore themes of personal development, reflective practice and what it means to live well.