The statistics on smartphone usage are staggering. According to a 2017 survey from ReporterLink, 46 percent of Americans grab for their phone the moment they wake up (it’s 66 percent for Millennials). In fact, the average person, according to Networkworld, touches their phone 2,617 times per day with a total of 145 minutes of use. The heaviest smartphone users tap or swipe their phone 5,427 time per day with 225 minutes of use daily.
This raises a serious question: Are we on our smartphones this much to be more productive and successful entrepreneurs, or are we just afraid that we are missing out on something? If your answer is “missing out,” you may be losing valuable productivity time and diverting your attention and energy away from what will make you successful. And, you may be suffering from a new kind of anxiety.
FOMO, the acronym for "Fear Of Missing Out," is actually a real word. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as, "Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media."It seems to have hit critical mass these days as it’s being mentioned repeatedly, not only in the news, but on the street too. Here, in New York City, you only need to sit in a busy coffee shop for a few minutes to watch how often people check their phones.
So, if you feel that you are suffering from productivity-robbing FOMO, here are 5 smartphone tips that will help you overcome that success stealing anxiety:
1. Acknowledging the problem
There is little chance to overcome this until you acknowledge this is an issue for you, is causing you anxiety and is stealing your valuable time.
2. Nightly social site diary
Every night, the last action you should do on your cell phone is enter into a memo the five most important things you found out about from social media on your smartphone that day. You will quickly discover the list is comically small and has few items on it that will lead to more success and earnings. This is a technique to train your mind so that when you go to visit a social site, you will be thinking, “When was the last time this social site provided something useful?”
3. Schedule social media use on your phone
Other than answering a text, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. or a phone call, schedule a handful times per day (use a calendar-type alert), when you will check social sites, engage and post from your phone. Add in the phone check when you wake up and before you turn in for the night, and you have six social site sessions a day.
If you catch yourself opening your phone at any other time, for any other reason other than communication, stop yourself. This will be hard at first, you may even slip, but soon this will become your new habit.
4.Time limit of one hour per day
During the six times you actually use your phone to be on social sites, set a 10-minute time limit. Use a timer on your phone if necessary. When the timer goes off, put your phone away! This will provide you with an hour on your smartphone for social sites every day. That’s almost one full workday per week.
5. Human-to-human engagement
At least once per day, when you are out in public, if you get the urge to use your smartphone when it’s not a designated time, turn to someone nearby and ask them how their day is going or ask them if they have heard anything new they’d like to share. You might find the act of engaging another human uplifting or beneficial, and you might even find out something you would have missed had you been on your phone.
If you have a FOMO, and it’s causing you to be on your smartphone in a way that steals your productivity, time and success, you now have the fix -- it’s right at your fingertips.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.