Unplugging Tips

Youth Martial Arts

Fighting The New Addiction

How long can you put your smartphone down and not pick it up?  Are you always reaching for it to see if someone LIKED your photo or are you always checking your work emails?  We are surrounded by more electronics than ever before and we need to realize that while they do provide us with entertainment, they are becoming addictions that are hurting our quality of life.  Here are SEVEN steps that you can take to help you break the addiction:  

ONE. Identify A Device

I don’t recommend going cold turkey, but when it comes to the devices that you have access to on a daily basis, how you use them and finally pick one device that you can go without.

TWO. Think About The NEGATIVITY

You have pinpointed the device(s) that you feel you can go without.  Now, think about how you use these gadgets on a daily basis and how they NEGATIVELY impact your quality of life.  Yes, your smartphone is great for capturing photos with family, friends and the delightful lunch you had, but you should focus on the ways it is NEGATIVELY effecting you.

I read the book “SELL OR BE SOLD” where the author asked me to write down what I WASTE a lot of my time on during a given day.  “Social Media” and “Work Emails” were on the top of my list.  Instead of playing with my daughters or doing something productive, I was glued to my phone.  Making a list of the time wasted, the missed moments and the lack of production really helped me focus on making a POSITIVE change.

THREE. The Choice Is Yours, But You MUST Decide

As I have already mentioned, going cold turkey can me rough.  Let’s face it, you’re still going to have  a smartphone, a laptop, iPod, tablet and TV; but you must decide on how and when you use them.  Maybe you delete several time wasting apps from your phone, only use the laptop for one-hour, use the iPod only for music and limit your “Binge Watching” to two episodes; then you get off the couch to do something productive.  
You’re the one that needs to set the limits, but share these with family and friends so they can help hold you accountable.

FOUR. Don't THINK it, INK it.

I have found that writing it down and having it visible throughout my day helps me keep on task.  Whether they are my long term goals with the steps that I will need to take or the to-do list for the day; I cannot forget about it when I see it on a list .

FIVE. Stick With It!

Scroll back to the top and confirm that I said this wasn’t going to be easy.  Don’t beat yourself up because you used the device in question, but stick to your limits.  Once you hit that limit, put the device away, shut it down and go find something else to do.

Tip:  Use a timer as it is easy to lose track of time when you are on your device.

SIX. What Did People Do BEFORE Electronics?

They had conversations with each other about their day, their goals and shared ideas without the use of a smartphone.  

  • Spend time with your family.  If you have children, they seem to grow in a blink of an eye and I wish I could hit the PAUSE botton.
  • Read books and ask each other about the characters or subject matter in the books that they are reading.  
  • Play games, whether it’s UNO, Battle Ship or maybe you do a puzzle.  
  • Here’s another great idea: Go OUTSIDE!  Enjoy each others time while you have the ability to do so. Play tag, kickball or just go and have a picnic.
  • Exercise.  Whether your are outside or going into a gym, getting 30-minutes of exercise a day is good for you and it’s 30-minutes of not being on your electronics.

SEVEN. Seek Help

If you put together a plan that included that steps that you were going to take in order to break your addiction from the electronics you selected, but you’re having a hard time; ask for help.

In the near future, I am confident that we’ll learn these gadgets are more addictive than alcohol, drugs and gambling.  There has to be a reason why Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs raised their children tech free.