Addicted to Your Phone? Try These 8 Tricks

Technology is great. It moves our world forward in incredibly amazing ways. It can also be extremely addictive to the point of severely affecting our personal lives.

Take smartphones for example.

How often are you on your phone now?

The shift from watching 20+ hours of television per week to mobile screen time has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. I am guilty of looking at my phone impulsively, afraid of missing that critical message. It has become an unofficial addiction. Here are some ways to minimize your screen time and get back to what matters – enjoying reality.

Forget it.

Wherever you are going, trust me, you can let the phone sit at home. Worried about missing that photo op? Just enjoy the adventure for this one time. Live in the moment with less. Take baby steps. Go on a walk for 30 minutes without it. Next time try one hour without it. Eventually you will reduce the anxiety of not having the phone at your hip.

Turn off notifications.

The emails and texts can wait. Every time the buzz goes off, your brain is interrupted, requiring you to refocus on your task. This is exhaustive to your productivity. Schedule times to check out your emails. I like checking in at 11am and 4pm each day. I challenge you to build a habit of only checking your email once at the end of each day.

Stop the phone browsing.

If you need to read, try to rely on your eBook reader, paperback or laptop. Even if you’re only switching to another electronic device, eliminating the phone browsing impulse will keep you disciplined in your learning.

Put it in your desk drawer until the end of the day.

Out of sight, out of mind. Enough said.

Fully pay attention to the conversation.

Here’s my dinner table rule: no phone. Every social event I attend, there are people talking to me. The easy escape is to put my head down and browse away. It’s a slap in the face when you’re trying to talk with someone and they ignore you like that. Be respectful of others, as well as your time with them.

Play the Phone Stacking Game.

Everyone puts their phone in the middle of the table. If someone picks up their phone, they pay the bill. It’s a simple but effective way to ensure the group is focused on the conversation.

Delete your social accounts (or minimize usage to one or two accounts).

This might be extreme for some of us, but maybe you have too many social media accounts. Delete the ones you rarely use. It’s easy to sign up for free accounts, but take some time out of your day to cut back on how many you have.

Get rid of your phone and go back to landline.

Another extreme case for some of us. Maybe we’ve become so absorbed on our device that it’s best to go backward. Consider this a last resort for severe phone addictions.

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Vans Shoes: The Power of Viral Brands

After the viral explosion of the Damn Daniel video, I noticed some retailers relocating the Vans shoes displays to the front of the store to boost exposure and sales. I did some research to discover Van’s reached $2 billion in sales for 2014 and 21 straight quarters of double-digit growth.

Van’s is one heck of a successful brand, and arguably the most powerful brand in youth culture today. Consistency in their message helps with their success model.

They stay true to their core customer group – skaters – yet appeal to the masses all over the world with daily one-to-one consumer connections. Van’s is a 50-year footwear brand icon based out of California, staying true to their roots through thick and thin.

The Damn Daniel viral video reveals the power of brand loyalists, and how, when paired with modern media, could only equal one thing: brand growth.

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8 Ways to Live 100% Paperless

Now, more than ever before, it is quite possible for anyone to go 100% paperless. Here’s how I did it (to the point of not owning a pen anymore):

1. Buy an electronic device.

Handle your note-taking, to-dos, projects and other miscellaneous work without trees and ink. If you have an iPad or laptop, there is no reason for owning a notepad. There was a transition phase that I needed to go through in order to feel completely comfortable without paper; this involved migrating my notes to the laptop and pawning off the hundreds of pens sitting in my desk drawer. Once the cleanse finished, I never looked back.

2. Scan your tax forms.

I use an app called Scannable to upload everything to my Google Drive. It’s free too! I am of the belief that your tax forms take up the bulk of your paper trail – once you clear all of that away, everything will seem less overwhelming. As the government is now accepting paperless returns, it’s safe to follow suit with electronic documentation.

3. Destroy old receipts.

Similar to the tax forms, just scan the essentials and throw away.

4. One-touch rule.

Don’t look at a piece of paper unless you plan to handle it on the spot. Make sure it leaves your hands, never to be seen again, once you touch it. One-touch requires discipline and focus – start with a “later” pile until you feel comfortable with on-the-fly one-touches.

5. Read eBooks.

Every book on your shelf should be donated to someone who will actually read it. If you must, keep up to five of your frequently referenced books.

6. Ask for email receipts.

Opt out of taking receipts at the cashier till. Your bank statements will show you everything you need to know. Companies keep your receipt information on file in case you ever need to dispute errors.

7. Grab a garbage bag or shredder.

Obvious solution. Throw away your old schoolwork, it’s collecting dust. Trust me when I say you will never look at it again. Stop holding onto those old bank statements – shred the sensitive data.

8. Stop printing business cards.

I will write a completely separate article on the death of business cards. For now, my advice is to use LinkedIn instead.

Tackle the paper trail relentlessly, in chunks. Your mind will thank you for it.

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