When your phone is the problem and the solution
If you've ever tried to use your phone less you know how challenging it can be.
Desire - Resistance - Restless - Give In - Reward
You have a thought that produces desire for your phone and you might not even know what that thought is, exactly. Especially if you've every felt like your phone suddenly appears in your hand and you have no memory of reaching for it.
Then, when you feel that desire, you try to use willpower to fight against it. When you use willpower you're fighting against yourself which feels, understandably, hard.
It's at this point you feel restless. You feel really strong urges to just grab your phone. Your mind might be weighing the pros and cons at this point, too.
Eventually, you give in and you feel a whoooosh of relief. The reward.
This resistance - reward cycle only strengthens your desire for your phone.
This is because the thing creating your desire is your phone and the thing that's solving for that desire is your phone.
Your phone is creating desire for itself which is why it feels so powerful. As if we are victims to our phones.
Even though it feels powerful, our brains are stronger - when we know how to redirect them.
The keys are:
- To allow the urge for your phone without responding or resisting
- Listening carefully to the thoughts that are creating your feelings of desire
- Planning your phone use ahead of time
Sounds great! Until you mess up. No matter how committed you are in the beginning, you're going to mess up. Let's plan on it.
Here's how to handle it:
Anytime you slip up, pay very close attention. The part of the brain that helped contribute to the mess up (your lower brain) doesn't want you to look closely. It wants you to remain unconscious which is exactly why we need to take the time to look closely at what happened.
- What happened exactly? What are the facts?
- What would you do differently?
- What was happening inside of your brain and your body? Thoughts? Feelings? Sensations?
- What were the arguments your brain presented you with?
The more you recognize your common thoughts and feelings the more you can expect them and plan on them.
When you expect them, they don't surprise you and you can make a different choice next time.
The only thing you CAN'T do here is beat yourself up. It only lengthens the time in between you and the time you want to be spending on your phone.
If you loved this and want to learn more about how your phone makes time management significantly harder - book a consult. I can't wait to help you spend your time exactly the way you want to.