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The 5 Step Guide to Breaking Your Phone Addiction, for Good

How to keep social media apps from stealing your time through triggers and habit replacement

Megan Holstein
Dec 14, 2018 · 15 min read
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Photo by Terrie Schweitzer.
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The top number is crossed out for one important reason: I don’t count time using Google Maps toward my screen time. I use Google Maps to check traffic during my work commute, and this is not the sort of phone use which contributes to my unhappiness as a person. It represents a majority of the time spent on my phone, so I choose to exclude it. When I exclude Google Maps from my total phone time, it comes out to 16h 24m. Divided by 7, that’s a daily average of 2h 20m a day.

Why I Didn’t Take Some Common Advice

Step 1: Figure out which apps are healthy and which are toxic

Step 2: Delete any apps you don’t need

Bonus: If you’re big on data security, don’t just delete the app: take the time to delete the account associated with it. Sometimes you can do this in the app, and sometimes you need to contact the company’s customer support. Then it’s like it never existed.

Step 3: Rearrange your remaining apps

Hide apps in groups

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The only pages on my iPhone
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Inside the “Social” folder.

Clear out your home screen

Step 4: Turn off (most of) your notifications

Turn off notifications in-app

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Turn off badges

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Settings > App > Notifications

Turn off notifications

Step 5: Download healthy apps

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Duolingo, Brilliant, and ProgrammingHub

Put them on your home screen

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most…

Megan Holstein

Written by

Personal growth writer, author, truth seeker ✺ www.meganeholstein.com

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

Megan Holstein

Written by

Personal growth writer, author, truth seeker ✺ www.meganeholstein.com

Better Humans

Better Humans is a collection of the world's most trustworthy writing on human potential and self improvement by coaches, academics, and aggressive self-experimenters. Articles are based on deep personal experience, science, and research. No fluff, book reports, or listicles.

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