You might think of a demonic garden gnome when you hear the word “nomophobia.” Rest assured, your little statue of Gnome Elvis has nothing to do with it. Nomophobia is the fear of being without your cellphone or a mobile device, and it is real.
Psychology Today published a post a year ago which covered the reasons why using your cellphone or mobile device without health limits can cause life, health, and relationship issues.
Set Rules and Create Boundaries
Try the experiment of deleting select Social Media apps on your cellphone or mobile device (e.g., deleting Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). If you do not use those social networks at certain times during the week, you will have to download those apps again.
Turn off your cellphone or mobile device at night, and place it out of sight. Disconnect from work when you have finished, instead of always having your phone nearby to check work email. Setting healthy limits to your cellphone usage will increase your overall focus, as well as enhance your productivity. Set a cellphone-free day once a week, and limit usage on a specific day. Use your off-day to focus on something you enjoy, your hobbies, listening to music, watching an awesome new movie, or spending time together with friends and family.
If you have your cellphone with you at all times and are taking to a work colleague, the impression you’re giving is that “yes, I’m listening to what you’re saying, but my cellphone is more important.” Put the phone away when engaged in conversations.
Productivity apps on your phone really do help, such as if you work remotely and your team communicates using Slack. Turn your phone off when not in work hours; there are things that can wait till the next work day.
A Healthy Work-Life Balance
Psychologist Adam Alter gave an interesting Ted talk which breaks down how much time people really are using screens on their devices. Please remember not to watch this talk from your internet-connected smart fridge freezer.
Having a healthy break from work will make you more useful and productive.
One good stopping cue is no cellphone or mobile devices during dinner. Whether you eat with your family and friends or alone, just don’t do it.
If you are driving or going for a hike, leave the phone off and actually experience where you are. Never drive distracted, and always pay attention.