How To Stop Using Your Phone Too Much

Less screen time, more ‘life’ time

Darius Foroux
6 min readSep 8, 2021

Have you ever been on vacation, but you can’t shake the habit of checking your emails “just in case” or “just for a bit”?

Think about that day-off or weekend where you suddenly thought of work, even when you’re supposed to be enjoying a night out with friends. These moments aren’t unusual.

A study found that knowledge workers who work on their phones have a harder time disconnecting from work even when they have to.

And because many people don’t have an on-off button for their minds, their performance and mental health suffer. If that’s you, a good first step is to take a step back from your phone. The world will not end if you’re less connected.

Whenever I’m tempted to “check” my phone, I think about Sam Harris’ “Don’t Meditate Because It’s Good For You” in the Waking Up App. He talks about the unconscious trade-offs we make with our time and attention.

“Let’s say you pick up your phone to check your email. At that moment, your five-year-old daughter starts telling you a story… You could be so lost in your thoughts about your email, and you could find the urge to respond to it so compelling, that you don’t even notice that your daughter is talking to you.”

Sure, responding to an email or notification might just take a few minutes. But those are minutes you can’t get back. Lost time adds up. Using your phone too much is a bad habit.

We often feel like we need to use our phones, otherwise, we can’t stay connected. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that most things can wait.

Work emails, notifications, text messages, and so forth — These things don’t have to occupy our lives so much. And we can spend our time on more important things, like being in the moment with a loved one. Or having laser focus at work.

How much is “too much” screen time?

Darius Foroux

I write about personal finance, productivity, habits. My best-selling course, Procrastinate Zero 2, is open for registration NOW: