30 Ways to Disconnect

Random Observation/Comment #626: Digital retreats are so hot right now. Airbnb with no wifi is a feature.

Why this List?

You know you’re addicted. It’s made to be addictive and easily accessible. You love being connected. You need to share. You seek validation. You yearn to be admired from afar. Dependency.

All you do is share. All you want is attention. Your posture and vision is getting worse. You’re probably growing a horn on your neck. You’re probably using it as a crutch to avoid social situations.

Refresh. Latest posts. Unread messages. Inbox zero. Obsession.

You want to cut it down. Cut it out. Disconnect. Why? How?

Things to Change Phone habits or Reduce Phone dependencies:

  1. Wear an analog watch – I surprisingly look at my phone a lot to check the time and then see other things while there.
  2. Install a phone monitoring app – I use Action-Dash to review my most used apps for a baseline control.
  3. Uninstall apps that suck up time – Social media, games, and news
  4. Remove apps from the homescreen – If it’s too much to Uninstall, at least remove it from convenience. The barrier for searching for an app may make you rethink looking at it.
  5. Turn off all notifications – I just block notifications all together on a system level for all apps except messaging.
  6. Schedule a set time to look at things – I wind up looking at things on the toilet a lot (it’s also a Dad thing).
  7. Set specific times Offline – Cannot use before 8AM or after 8PM.
  8. Setup automatic “Do Not Disturb” times – If you have no willpower to be offline, then program it in.
  9. Set the expectation of a slow response outside of work hours – Let your friends and colleagues know you’re disconnecting so they don’t expect an immediate response. For emergencies, please text.
  10. Try using a whiteboard or physical notebook for taking notes – I tried to migrate off of Keep Notes in my routine. It’s nice to draw on the subway.
  11. Remove fingerprint scan to unlock your phone – Use a very long and annoying phrase so you really have to type it out if you want to unlock your phone.
  12. Keep the phone in airplane mode – If you’re not online, then you won’t get as many notifications.
  13. Use voice activation for common tasks like setting alarms – I sometimes do a few tasks like set alarms for cooking or upcoming meetings. To remove the habit of reaching for the phone, cut out the edge cases.
  14. Text less frequently – I can probably spend more time checking my phone for when people need me.
  15. Try a smart watch – If you set up notifications properly, the limited features might help with filtering the most important things. You may then be obsessed with looking at your smartwatch instead of your smartphone.
  16. Leave your phone in another room – This especially helps with sleep hygiene.
  17. Leave your phone at home – If you’re only going to the grocery store or the gym, you probably don’t need your phone.
  18. Tell your friends or loved ones to hold you accountable – Be prepared to get hounded.
  19. Up the stakes – Incentivize your friends to catch you breaking your own rules.
  20. Make a “phone jar” like a “swear jar” – If you reach for your phone during a meal, then your friend can have you put money into a punishment jar.
  21. Involve your friends – Best way to fight an addiction is to get other people to participate. Start with a night out with a friend and extend to everyday use.
  22. Create a group challenge – Put your phones in the center of the table during meals and first one to check pays the bill.
  23. Bring back the iPod – Splitting the traditional services from your multi-use phone might be helpful. You may be carrying an additional device, but at least you won’t be looking at your phone all the time.
  24. Bring back the flip phone – This is a bit extreme. Plus you might look like a drug dealer or secret agent.
  25. Bring back the type-writer – Don’t forget the ink refills.
  26. Always surround yourself with interesting people – So you won’t be interested in looking for another outlet.
  27. Live in the woods – Disconnect all together and worry about building a fire and hunting for food.
  28. 5-pushup-per-unlock-challenge – Must do 5 push-ups each time you unlock. At least you’ll do some exercise to cut out your addiction.
  29. Hide all your chargers and only let yourself charge once a week – Your phone usage will then need to be rationed for the week so you have it for emergencies.
  30. Try a 30 Day Disconnecting Challenge – Failed this multiple times. Be realistic and reduce screen time to save your eyes and posture.

Productive Things To Do Besides Being on Your Phone All the Time:

~See Lemons Try to Disconnect