Last month I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a more productive person. I was feeling like I had let myself get into a bit of a funk where I was lacking motivation to do the little daily things that keep me feeling like I have my life together and that I’m not wasting time. I was stuck in a vicious sleep cycle of staying up until 2am getting lost in the rabbit hole of the Instagram explore page, and googling random things that pop into my brain that I actually don’t give a single f about, then sleeping until 10am and laying in bed for another half hour, scrolling through my phone again until I realized I would be late for work if I didn’t get up. This left me feeling rushed and unaccomplished in the mornings, and worst of all, it put me in a negative or foggy headspace for the day.
I don’t often get stressed or anxious, but one thing that does give me anxiety is wasting time. Whether its a year-long period of time or a few short hours in the morning, not many things make me more annoyed than feeling like I wasted time away doing nothing meaningful. And it’s not like I’m this crazy busy person who has a million obligations, or that I have to be doing something important every second of the day. When I say “meaningful”, I basically mean literally anything other than scrolling on my phone. Reading, writing, doing the dishes, studying, going to the gym, watching a movie, plotting revenge on my enemies – ANYTHING.
I love my phone (more than I should) but I also hate it’s guts. It’s the biggest source of stress in my life but yet it’s the thing I give the most of my time to. I hate how it makes me feel and I hate how much I need it. I feel like I’m describing a very toxic relationship rn, which isn’t all that far off when you think about it. Hi everyone, my name is Jenna, and I’m in a toxic relationship with my phone.
Everything began to change for the better on one miraculous day, when I finally decided to stop living in denial and I set up screen time on my phone. I was disgusted reading my analytics, and it became clear that the easiest thing I could do to get myself out of this funk was to do something about my screen time. I set up “downtime” for certain apps from 11pm-11am, and set a 2 hour daily limit on socials. I also moved my socials folder to its own page at the very back of my phone so it wasn’t quite as easy to mindlessly open whenever I’m bored for a minute. These were small changes to start out with, but I can’t believe the difference they made in the first few days. Since I’m locked out of most of my apps after 11pm, I’ve found myself going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. And not being able to check social media in the morning until 11 gives me a few hours to do other things that are more meaningful and that put me in a better headspace. I’ve been starting most of morning by making my bed and writing for at least fifteen minutes. I make coffee and read, fill in my day planner, or do some school work, all before social media is able to seep into my brain and affect my mood for the day.
Making these small changes has given me more time to do things I need to get done, as well as the things that bring me more fulfillment. I’ve become more aware of how much I use my phone, and am more conscious of when I am only picking it up because I’m bored. There are SO many other things I would rather do when I’m bored, and it was about time that I started doing them. It’s not easy, because most of us are so dependent on our phones without even realizing it, but I highly recommend giving these tricks a try for at least a week. Set your downtime hours for whatever works with your schedule, and start small – you’ll be surprised by how much you still notice the change.
Maybe, with a little work, we can all break up with our phones. Or at least learn to recognize when they’re becoming toxic and are doing us more harm than good. Kinda like that guy who only texts you when it’s late. And if you shut off your phone you could deal with that problem too.