Everything is on your phone. It’s like having your entire life in your hand.
Except that world on your phone isn’t the entire world.
It’s so tempting to fill your free time with scrolling and messaging. But there is a lot to gain from looking up and putting your phone down if you just give it a try for a short time every day.
Need a little more convincing?
Take a look at these eleven reasons to put down your phone, even if it’s just for a little while.
1. You Get More Done
Constantly having your phone by your side with the sound turned up takes a toll on your productivity.
All those notifications and the urge to check just one message in the middle of a task take valuable time from your progress and, worse, stops it dead in its tracks. It’s impossible to get on a roll if your mind is always on something else.
Put your phone away. Out of sight, out of mind.
Once you’re able to focus entirely on the task at hand, you will get it done faster. Then you have time to do more or even clock out early!
2. You Sleep Better
It’s not just that juicy drama on social media keeping you awake at night; it’s the light your phone gives off.
Cell phones emit blue light, which inhibits your natural melatonin production. Melatonin is what makes you sleep.
By staring at your phone late into the night, you’re inadvertently signaling to your body that it’s still time to stay awake. No matter how tired you might be, it’s going to try harder to stay awake under those conditions.
Try putting your phone away at least half an hour before bedtime and see just how much better you rest at night.
3. You Give Yourself More Time
Take a second to think about how much time you actually spend looking at your phone throughout the day.
Now think about what else you could be doing in that amount of time.
You could probably take on another hobby if you wanted to!
4. You Relax Your Wrists
Carpal tunnel is no joke. And with the growing use of phones all day every day, it’s becoming much more common in younger people.
Putting your phone down could take a lot of pressure off your wrists and save you some pain down the line.
Give your wrists a break for a bit and maybe do some wrist and hand stretches to keep them in good shape for the future.
5. You Are More Social
We’re not talking about social media here! Sure, you talk to people all day long on your phone, but it’s not quite the same.
Connecting to the people around you is so much easier when you don’t have a screen in front of your face. Whether that’s the people you love the most or the random people standing on an elevator with you, you’ll find yourself communicating more when you put your smartphone down.
Never underestimate the freeing nature of small talk!
6. You Remember Where You’re Going
The availability of GPS has rendered memorizing directions pretty much obsolete.
But what if you suddenly can’t access your maps app? How are you going to get to your destination? Can you remember the way to your most frequently visited places without directions?
At the very least, you should know exactly how to get to important places without the use of a GPS. Turn your phone off and become familiar with the road signs and landmarks on your way to work and while you drive home.
7. You Limit Eye Strain and Headaches
It’s no secret that constant screen time isn’t exactly good for your eyes.
Spending the entire day staring at your phone can strain your eyes, dry them out, and lead to more frequent headaches. It’s important to take regular breaks from the light and read all that small text.
Your health comes first!
8. You Can Take a Breather
Calm moments are hard to come by when a phone is always in your hand.
You have notifications popping up at all hours of the day that range from important emails to random offers. No matter how disciplined you are, you’re going to be tempted to look at them.
Just turn it off for a while. Flip it over. Put it in another room.
You’ll be surprised how much calmer you feel when you’re not constantly waiting for the screen to light up beside you.
9. You Will Drive Undistracted
Hopefully, you’re not driving with your phone in your hand.
Taking your eyes off the road for even a fraction of a second is extremely reckless. It’s dangerous to you and everyone else on the road. You should absolutely be putting your phone away while you’re driving.
But even if you’re just in the passenger seat, consider stowing your phone for the ride.
Engaging with the other people in the car can make for a much better ride. And it’ll be easier for the driver to stay off their phone if everyone else in the car isn’t completely buried in theirs.
10. You Miss Out on FOMO
It’s impossible to truly judge how another person is living their life based solely on what they post online.
When you see people posting about their adventures, relationships, or things they bought, you might get a sense that you’re missing out on something. This can lead to discontent with your own life.
Don’t look for satisfaction from other people.
Unplug for a while and take the time to remember what you have and what you’re most grateful for. It’s important to remind yourself of what you’re blessed with every now and then.
11. You Get Comfortable By Yourself
When was the last time you were really and truly alone?
Not just physically but mentally and emotionally.
By putting your phone down, it’s possible to get to know yourself on a deeper level. You can have more fully formed thoughts (like how you have all those brilliant ideas in the shower).
Spend some time writing things down the old fashion way. Do some meditating. Give yourself the chance to be completely alone for a time.
If you’re used to being by yourself, you won’t panic if something happens that cuts off your instant contact with the outside world.
There is so much more to life than what’s on your phone. Sure, all those pictures are wonderful memories and your very best friends mean the world to you, so you want to be there for them at all times.
But all that stuff will still be there in five minutes, in an hour, tomorrow.
Give yourself permission to unplug and recharge without a phone in your hand. You’ll be better off for it.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Escaya, a luxury apartment community in Chula Vista, CA.