Spend Less Time
on Your Phone
We're not here to hate on the smartphone. We love ours and we're so grateful that so many of our readers check in with Valet. each day on theirs. Everything you could ever want—from food delivery and directions to a date or a ride home—is now in the palm of your hand. But all those amazing options can sometimes suck you in. Sure, there are those times when you'd rather tap through Snapchat or scroll through sports stats than have to talk to another human being, but when you keep hearing comments about your phone addiction, the digital distractions could probably be reined in a bit. Of course, you're not alone. Everywhere you look, there are faces hidden behind flickering screens. In fact, according to research published by The Daily Mail, most of us now spend more time interacting with our phone than we do with our significant other.
Acknowledge the problem.
It's the first step of any addiction, right? Getting met with the cold hard facts of how much time you spend on that little screen can help you change your ways. There are various apps, such as Moment for iOS and QualityTime for Android, that will monitor your phone usage and outline just how many hours a day you're
wasting spending staring down at that screen.
Turn off your notifications.
This is the simplest way to cut down on the hold your phone has on you. It might sting a bit when you turn off all those social media notifications, but it's vital. Florida State University conducted a study that proved that simply receiving a text message can distract you dramatically. Think about it: you get an alert that friends are liking your Instagram but that quickly leads to a Twitter scroll, a quick check of emails and maybe liking someone's Facebook post before winding up on Instagram again, wondering how you got back there.
Find the right substitution.
Cold turkey isn't the best way to overcome anything. You want to replace your phone time with something that's just as engaging, especially at first. If you tend to pull out your phone during your work commute or when you're waiting somewhere, bring along a book to read or a notebook to write down some ideas. Let your mind open up, and you'll find that you can get lost in your everyday thoughts instead of always consuming others' opinions. You know how the best ideas come to you when taking a shower? It's because you're free from other distractions and your mind can naturally wander.
Go back to a real alarm clock.
It doesn't have to be fancy. Our editor in chief swears by his trusty Dieter Rams-designed Braun alarm clock. Just something that will wake you up and keep you from checking your phone in the first few seconds of rising. And since you don't need your phone as an alarm clock, charge it in another room so it doesn't draw you in at night and waste time you could spend sleeping (or hey, having sex).
Plan daily phone-free periods.
We think you're going to like this one. Schedule some time each day to disconnect—a session where you can focus on something else without the distractions of your phone. You don't have to go full anti-electronics. You can still enjoy your tablet or TV, only now you've removed the need to check in. Try putting your phone on Airplane Mode for the first hour after you get home from work. Chances are, you'll be busy preparing dinner, spending some quality catch-up time with your family or getting ready to go out.
Volume 9 // 2017
When we started our 31 Days series, way back in 2009, it was an idea that began out of the natural tendency to see the new year as a restart of sorts. Each day, we put up a short tip or trick to help readers get a fresh start to the new year and step up their game. Then we did it again the next year and it's grown every year since, proving to be one of Valet.'s most popular series ever. This year, nearly a decade in, we've shifted the focus just a touch—narrowing in on skills and attributes we believe make you a better man. Little things that have a big, lasting impact on your life and the lives of those around you. Everyday this month, we'll introduce a topic or idea aimed at helping you look your best, feel great and be the civilized 21st century gentleman we all strive to be. Best of luck in 2017 and thanks for reading.