When I moved to England, I abandoned my iPhone and bought a £5 phone instead.
Goodbye suave touchscreen keyboard, hello barely-pushable buttons. When I returned home for Christmas vacation, I had access to the iPhone again, and by the end of the month, I was hooked on it. It was so easy to use, that I was using it all the time, even though I didn’t need to.
It’s easy to get hooked on bad habits when they’re easy. If wifi is fast and your email is a push of a button away, it’s easy to build that constantly-connected email-checking habit. If you can barely read your pixelated screen and it takes five minutes to send a sentence, you better believe a texting habit will be hard to come by.
Make things difficult.
If you’re hooked on your smartphone, put it on Airplane Mode when you need to focus. Turn it off, because it takes forever to turn on. Disable the email app and force yourself to login on a browser if it’s an emergency. Hide your addictive apps in a folder on the last page.
My smartphone addiction was short-lived (like, a week), but the greater problem was The Sims. I’d been addicted to this game since version one. At university, I left the disk at home so I wouldn’t get distracted, but this meant that my vacations were consumed by playing it.
So I hid the disk, so well that I still can’t find it, and purchased a MacBook Air sans CD drive. I even chose the one with less memory to resist temptation. Perhaps this was extreme [I miss it sooo much!], but hey. Productivity problem solved.
What habits are you trying to break? What are your strategies for breaking them?
P.S. Habit Building: What’s the Point?