I have to admit that phones are a bit of a hot topic for me.
They can add so much to our lives, like allowing us to keeping in touch with family and friends, giving us a place to organize lists and to-dos, and of course they are a hub for so many helpful apps, from cooking and workouts, to daily Bible readings and surf checks. Not to mention, they have become our cameras, clocks, music sources, and mobile work sites. It’s a mini computer on us at most times! Kinda wild.
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing – can you agree? While many of the functions of our phones can be positive and helpful, there are obvious drawbacks to being too attached to our phones. I think the biggest impact phones can have on us is keeping us from being fully present, whether that is related to the people we are with, the setting we are in, or the task at hand. I talked about FOMO (fear of missing out) and the draw of our phones with my guest Kate Merrick in my Unstoppable Life Course, Be Present. When it comes to phones I find boundaries are a GOOD thing! I admire my friends who lose their phones frequently and can’t get back to me (haha)!
When it comes to phones I find boundaries are a GOOD thing!
In a recent Live Q&A with our Unstoppables (the course community) the topic of phones came up again because of quarantine when we found ourselves at home a whole lot more and it felt hard to get away from our phones. Adam and I shared some ideas that I want to be sure to pass on to you in case you need encouragement in this area:
- First, it’s helpful to name and acknowledge the struggle… because it is real. That phone is always going to be there and it will always pull at you, so go ahead and admit that to yourself and those you live with so that you can take steps to create some healthy phone habits.
- Silent isn’t enough sometimes. The buzz can still be distracting. Try Do No Disturb. Or turn it off for windows of time.
- Set time limits. Have a “wake up” and “bed time” for your phone.
- Boundaries. Designate certain times when the phone is off limits (meals, school hours, Sundays etc.) – or leave it in the car on friend dates.
- Be on the same page. Have a family meeting to talk about phone usage and establish healthy life giving “rules” that you can all agree on so that you are aligned and can encourage each other.
- Have a sticky note handy for that to-do list instead of putting it in your phone. Then tackle the list in your window of phone time.
- Look people in the eye when they talk to you instead of looking at your phone. They will feel your attention and love, and you will actually hear them!
A good rule of thumb for our phones is: Own it, and don’t let it own you.
The struggle is real, especially during “stay at home orders”, but with a little creativity, intention and help from those you live with I know we can all establish healthy phone habits that will allow us to rest our minds and be more present. And don’t beat yourself up if it takes some time to make new habits, give yourself grace and try again tomorrow. Check out Practice Makes Present for even more tips and ideas.
You can do it and enjoy the beautiful life-enriching benefits of healthy phone boundaries!
P.S. No matter when you join the course, the Unstoppables Community is here as an option for you. Our Live Q&As are automatically and always available to you through a private Facebook Group. We’d love to have you join us!