10 Tips for Eliminating the Distraction of Your Phone
School is in session right about now. So, how can we stay focusing on homework or classes when Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and texts are all calling?
Our phones are big-time distractions, and so many teenagers wish they could get their homework done fast and then get on their phones to their hearts' content.
So, we need to battle the temptation that phones present before, during, and after they call us. Get it? Call?
Do these things before you start studying.
1. Download and set up Forest. One of my friends told me about this super cool app that should help you remember not to get on your phone for a certain amount of time. It won't lock your phone, so you could still get on in an emergency. But if you get on, it kills a tree. Learn more and download it here. Hurrah for free tree apps!
2. Get accountability. Study with a buddy or tell your parents or siblings that you are trying not to get on your phone until you've done x. It might seem weird at first, but our family is really good accountability.
3. Even better, hand it over. Have your sibling hide it or your parents stash it away in a drawer until you are done. When you say you are done, they can confirm and then give you the location of your phone. (It's best to try this with non-mischievous siblings. Oh wait, is there such a thing?)
4. Power down. If no one is around to hold you accountable and you forgot to download Forest, power down your phone. I don't mean airplane mode. I mean, power it off. I believe in you! (Note: If your parents need to get into contact with you, maybe don't do this.) :)
When the temptation comes unexpectedly, or you realize you forgot to prevent distraction beforehand, here are the emergency steps you can take. Ding-a-ling! Someone's texting you. What do you do?
5. Don't touch your phone. Now I know you're probably thinking, "Whaaaaaaat?" This one does indeed come with some willpower required, but think about it. If you never touch your phone to turn down the volume, you will never "accidentally" check your texts. Just let it bring and ping and ding-a-ling away. Know that you're not actually missing anything. Plus, now the faster you do your homework, the faster you will get to text friends.
So, let's take another scenario. You're minding your own business and doing your algebra homework when BAM! You just thought of the world's #1 funniest tweet. Good for you. But you're not supposed to be on your phone.
6. Write it down. Even the world's best tweet is not an excuse to get on your phone. And when I say write it down, you know I mean with pencil and paper not the Notes section of your phone, right?
7. Turn it into a challenge. Try to complete certain sections of your homework or studying before the next beep.
At this point, you're probably reaching for your phone like, "Banana!!!"
8. Turn down the sounds. If the sounds are driving you crazy, just turn them down using the buttons on the side of your phone or muffle it in a blanket.
Finally! You're done with homework. Here's what you should do.
9. Evaluate what the hardest part was. What was distracting? Will you be able to do something in the Before section next time to prevent the struggle of the During?
10. Celebrate! You survived. You may now get on your phone. And don't forget to type up that genius tweet.
Tomorrow you will do it all over again.
(Whoops. I was trying to make the top graphic all pretty and sophisticated, but then the minions invaded. So much for pretty graphics! :))