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Are You Addicted to Your Mobile Phone?

Recently I did a thing with my good pal and productivity specialist, Cris over at Organizing Maniacs. We launched the Productivity Lovers Podcast! We both jumped enthusiastically into podcasting and, in fact, we’ve recorded 12 episodes so far!

We also snuck in a bonus show (Episode #9A). In this episode, we talked about phone addiction and the impact it might have on our productivity. Keep reading to learn more about this real-life problem.

Are You Addicted to Your Mobile Phone?

Would you believe that many of us would give up taking a shower, driving, or even sleeping for an entire day rather than separate from our mobile phones?

If you often feel phantom phone vibrations when you don’t even have your phone, get anxious if you forget it at home, or feel compelled to have it with you at all times, you might be a little too connected to your device.

Episode #9A – Mission Impossible: Give Up Your Phone for a Day!

But that’s not the only thing that might concern you. Though cell phones can be tools that help you get things accomplished, they can also be very distracting.

Nearly half of Americans (49%) admit to picking up their phone to check on something, but get distracted and forget what it was they were looking for. (Source)

put-a-finger-down-challengeTo prove it, let’s play a quick game. Hold up one or both of your hands, then:

  • Put a finger down if you’ve ever reached for your cell phone only to forget why you reached for it in the first place.
  • Put a finger down if you grab your phone when you’re procrastinating or avoiding important tasks.
  • Put a finger down if you get sidetracked every time you get a notification on your phone.
  • Put a finger down if you open ABC app instead of the work (or other) app you originally intended to open.
  • Put a finger down if you decide to open XYZ app for a few minutes and look up to find that 30 minutes or more have gone by.
  • Put a finger down if you check phone notifications immediately, even if you’re doing something important.
  • Put a finger down if you stop what you’re doing to touch your phone just because you see it (not because you need to use it).
  • Put a finger down if you stay up late to do DEF activity on your phone instead of going to sleep.

How’d you do? Were you surprised by the number of fingers you put down?

Don’t fret, we all can get distracted without even realizing it. Cris and I are not immune and we use our phones a lot. So, we thought we’d do a little challenge and invite you to join us. Jump down to the next section to learn more.

Give Up Your Phone for 24 Hours

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is this: Put away your phone for the entire day on Sunday, September 26th. That’s right, no phone for 24 hours.

The goal of the “No Phone Sunday” challenge is to create awareness about how much you really use your phone. Because once you know, you can make some changes, especially if you find that it would normally be attached to your hip (literally and figuratively) or that it would have pulled you away from something (or someone) else.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Schedule. Add “No Phone Sunday” (September 26th) to your calendar.
  • Listen. Check out our special episode: “Mission Impossible: Give Up Your Phone for One Day.
  • Make a plan. Create a list of things you can do on your “day off” from your phone.
  • Put it away. Move your phone out of sight. Put it under your bed. Stow it away in a closet. Or give it to a friend. Just put it away for an entire day.
  • Be more aware. As you go through the day, notice all the times you would have reached for your cell phone and the reasons why.
  • Share your experience. Tell us over on our Facebook page how you handled being without your phone for 24 hours. Was it easy peasy? Or excruciatingly painful?

We’ll also be giving a *prize* to one lucky person who participates in our “No Phone Sunday” Challenge. Watch the video below for more details and join us!

One last thing — You can’t ask someone else to use their phone to do something for you!

Watch to learn more about “No Phone Sunday” and join us on September 26th!

Hey there, I’m Deb. I’m a Digital Productivity Coach and Consultant, Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker, and lover of all things tech. I’m also addicted to apps and love helping small business owners leverage technology so they can be more productive.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I’ve done a no-phone thing with you before, Deb, and it was eye-opening. What fun to be doing it with Cris! I’m definitely addicted, but I don’t do all the things on the list. For example, I have all notifications turned off and don’t even have the ringer on my phone turned on unless I’m expecting an important call on my cell phone (I still have a house phone). I’ll use my phone and apps on my schedule, not yours/theirs, thank you very much!

    1. It was super fun to do this with Cris. But it was also excruciating because I wanted to text her to see how it was going for her! LOL

      Love the boundaries you have set up, Hazel. I shall use you as my inspiration on the days when I’m feeling too connected! 😁

  2. Good quiz! I think I’m addicted to my phone. I am proud that I don’t use notifications on most of my apps. That helps me be less reactive when I pick up my phone. But I could never take a whole day off.

    1. Hey Janet — Turning off notifications is a great first step to letting go of constantly being connected. 🙌 We chose Sunday because we thought it would be an easier day to let of our tech. Maybe you can try a half-day off to see how it goes. Baby steps, right? What do you think?

  3. I love notifications because then I’m not checking my phone constantly to see if I got any emails, LOL. The only way this works is because I’ve unsubscribed to so many things that my notifications most likely are important. I don’t do any notifications for things like social media because otherwise I’d never leave my phone alone.

    1. Hi Lucy — It sounds like you have a good way of using notifications. Great that you’ve found a way to make something that’s normally distracting work for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. First of all, congratulations on your new podcast! I don’t know if your ears were ringing, but we were sharing favorite resources, books, and podcasts at a recent local NAPO Golden Circle meeting. And guess what? Your productivity podcast was mentioned with glowing reviews. Go, Deb & Chris!!!!

    Phone addiction is real. The devices were designed to make us addicted. Maybe I’m fooling myself, but I think I have a healthy relationship (can we even call it that?) with my phone. It supports me as needed- health, wellness, connection to others, news updates, awesome phone to capture beautiful moments, and wait for it…make phone calls. It’s kind of funny that a phone used to be ONLY for making calls, but now it’s a portal to the world (inner and outer.)

    Because I use it to track steps, access the meditation app, log meals, and take photos, I’d have an impossible time giving it up for 24 hours. However, I do “tuck it in” at night. So daily, I get at least a 7 or 8-hour break from my trusted device.

    Congrats again on your new podcast! You both look (and sound) great! Love the banter.

  5. Okay, so no fingers left standing LOL!

    I think I would be happy to be free of my phone for 24 hours, but it would take pre-communicating this to a bunch of people in order to be able to pull it off. So many people in my life, both personally and professionally, expect me to be on the other end of my phone (mostly of the texting, but every now and then an actual call).

    To go without I would need to notify people and let them know either how to reach me if they needed me, and/or ask them to hold off trying to contact me for the 24 hours.

    In the meantime, I could try and simply go at least hours without looking. To be honest, I don’t check my phone when I’m working with clients, and it is actually a nice break from the thing!

  6. I still have all my fingers up and I’m waiving to you. I’m not addicted to my phone, I’m sure, because I almost never use it in my house. I text from my Mac, I don’t have email or any social media except Twitter on my phone (but keep Twitter as my form of entertainment when I’m stuck waiting for appointments or in long lines), and I mainly use my cell phone to make calls, take photos, and get efficiently to strange locations using the GPS.

    Now, if you asked about internet addiction, that might be different. I spend all my work time and much of my play time at my computer. I prefer to watch streaming shows “close up” on a computer than across the room on the TV, and it’s so much easier to type emails and social media posts on a full-sized keyboard.

    So how did I do on your challenge? I kept my phone in my purse all day until 3:30p, but when I wanted to check Twitter, my computer was restarting after an update, so I spent about half an hour on it. In the evening, I went on my phone on Twitter (to better watch The Tony Awards) and solve the mystery of what wackiness was going on with the show. (It was split into an awards telecast on Paramount+, which I don’t have, and a tape-delayed performance show on CBS. Without Twitter, I’d have been flummoxed.) And I logged on for a few minutes before midnight to see my Fitbit dashboard and make sure the weekly challenge for my friends had been set up.

    So did I do zero minutes? No. Did I use my phone responsibly? Yep. But I absolutely support the intent of this challenge, and I love the way you and Cris set it up! Hurrah!

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