· To Get an eye-opening experience at just how addictive your phone habits have become
· To better manage your time
· To increase your mindfulness and mental engagement throughout the day
· To reduce the risk of a distracted driving car accident
· To set a positive example for your children (if you have them)
· To reduce the disruptive switch back mental activity the phone induces.
· To combat the negative effects of social media
· To reduce stress (and associated ailments like migraines and fatigue)
· To improve creativity
· To add more time back into your day for things that really matter.
· To put a stop to the universal expectation of immediacy when it comes to text messaging and the unwritten, but universally accepted, rule that our phone never be out of arm’s reach.
1. If you haven’t read the book, HUNG UP Why It’s Time to Put the Phone Down (and Other Life Advice), do so now. The book is super short (most can read in an hour) and will inspire and motivate you on why it’s imperative we better manage our phone habits. It may even make you laugh. The book is available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1796449822
2. Once you’ve completed the book, and you believe that you, or someone you love, is “HUNG UP” on the phone, it’s time to take The Big Hang-Up 7 Day Challenge. Before you begin, please complete these 4 simple tasks. (Instructions for Apple/Android users below.)
i. Create a “Favorites” list in your contacts for the important people in your life.
ii. Assign the special people in your life a unique text/ring tone.
iii. Turn on “Do Not Disturb While Driving” auto-reply and PERSONALIZE the message.
iv. Create a communal charging station. (For some creative ideas, type “Charging Stations” into Pinterest.)
v. Update your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let your family, friends, and coworkers know you are taking The “Big Hang Up” 7 Day Challenge.
· Google “How to master Do Not Disturb on iPhone/Android.”
· Google “How to change ringtone and text tones for iPhone/Android.”
· Google “How to enable Do Not Disturb While Driving on iPhone/Android.”
Once these steps are complete, you’re ready to begin The Big Hang-Up 7 Day Challenge. Let’s go!
· Get a baseline of your current screen time. (Apple users: Settings, Screen time)
The goal of the “Big Hang Up” Challenge is not necessarily to reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone. Rather it is to challenge when you spend that time so you can minimize the disruptive nature of switch back activity the phone induces,
· Outside of work requirements, decide upon 4-6 designated “Phone” times.
This will differ between individuals, but it is imperative to choose times when you can devote 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time to the action required items that need to be conducted on your phone. Refrain, as much as possible, from using your phone in between these designated phone times.*
(*Personal, work, or time sensitive matters should always be handled appropriately.)
· Swap (where feasible) action required, time sensitive, or complex texts for phone calls.
This is safer, more efficient, and reduces the negative effects of switchback activity.
· Reserve texts for messages that are NOT time sensitive or action required and those that will NOT require multiple responses.
· Resist the urge to answer a call or respond to a text when you are engaged in something else.
When you are doing something that requires focus and mental stamina, consider turning your phone to “Do Not Disturb”.
· Let go of the obligation you may feel to immediately respond to texts. If you are in the middle of something, FINISH.
If our society is ever going to combat the universal expectation that our phones be near us at all times, we’ve got to retrain ourselves and others. If a matter is urgent, time sensitive, or will result in multiple text exchanges, IT DESERVES A PHONE CALL!
· Train yourself to plan ahead.
Need help with carpool? Want to know the name of the wine or babysitter your friend recommended? Don’t wait until the afternoon of pickup or when you’re already at the store to send these messages.
· Conduct a social media cleanse.
Just like we tidy our homes and our diets, a social media cleanse (reducing the number of people, places, and pages we follow) can allow your online time to be better spent.
· Limit the use of social media to 30 minutes/day or less.
· Be more mindful about social media posts.
Share only those that connect, unite, or inform others in a positive way and have a discussion (if applicable) with your children about the dangers of looking for validation from friends/followers on social media.
· Designate a specific time each night when devices get turned off.
There is strong evidence to support blue lights from handheld devices can disrupt your Circadian rhythm and throw off sleep patterns. As part of good sleep hygiene, turn off your devices 2-3 hours before bed.
· Set time limits on Apps (Apple users: Settings, Screen Time, App Limits).
This will help manage the time you (and your children) spend in front of a screen.
· Be mindful about when you photo or video.
There are moments we want to capture in photos and videos to treasure for a life time, but an intimate moment can have the same longevity stored away in your heart. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience one of these moments because your face is curtained behind the phone.
· Last, and most importantly: Give yourself permission to be the boss of you and your phone.
The obligation we feel to act on calls, texts, and notifications is intrinsic in nature; meaning we have the choice and the POWER to do better when it comes to managing our phone habits.
· In summary, whether or not all of these tips stick, I hope one, or some of them, do and become part of your new normal. Small changes can have HUGE results.
To get to know more about the author, read about her experience with the challenge, and to share your results (the good, bad, and the ugly) go to www.thebighangup.com or follow The Big Hang-Up on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.