If you're addicted to your iPhone, get distracted by technology time-killers or have email withdraws when you step away from your inbox, these tricks will help you take a tech timeout and stay focused on being present.
Ditch the distractions
Multitasking at your desk by browsing online or shuffling through social media apps can not only be a major time-killer, it often divides your attention and draws focus away from more productive tasks. If you find that you have trouble being in the moment at work during conference calls or you can’t seem to finish a project on time, shut down the apps (such as email and your web browser) that tend to take your attention away from the task at hand. If you need an extra nudge, turn off your monitor or close your laptop during important calls.
At home, turn off the TV. Commit to distraction-free time with your kids every day. Even if it’s only five minutes of uninterrupted tickle time, it’s amazing how much more connected you’ll feel without the clutter of background TV noise. It also reminds your kids that quality time is more important than whatever is happening on television.
Stack it, shove it and check out
If you find that you and your spouse have the smart-phone willpower of a kid in a candy shop when you’re out to dinner, agree to stack your phones at the end of the table — out of arm's reach — and not touch them until you’re on your way out. If your kids have cell phones, iPads or gaming devices, those should be off-limits at dinner time too. Use that time to engage with your kids without technology diverting everyone’s attention.
When you’re at home and you want to unwind with your family, shove your phone in a drawer and don’t look back. It’s too easy to pick up your phone every time you walk by it or whenever you see a notification on your screen.
Declare your bedroom a no-phone zone. When you go to bed, leave your phone outside your room and shut the door. Instead of being distracted by unnecessary web surfing, email checking and social media updating, you could be spending quality time connecting with your spouse. Imagine what you could do with all the time you save not being tied to your phone!