I don’t need to be the millionth person to tell you that we spend a lot of time on our phones. They are a necessary part of life now. But what I DO want to tell you is that YOU control the amount of time or attention you give to your phone. You need to control your phone, or else it will take control of you! Below are some quick and simple tricks to ensure your phone isn’t stealing more than it's fair share of your time.
Delete old or unused apps - right now!
How many apps do you have on your phone? Techcrunch.com reports the average smartphone user has 90 apps on their phone. Does this seem like a lot to you? It does to me! Take a quick inventory of the apps you have on your phone, and delete any that you just aren’t using. This quick phone clean up should take about 5 minutes, and you’ll feel a little lighter for it.
Keep a clean home page
What are the most used apps on your phone? What SHOULD be the most used apps on your phone? Try keeping your homepage to just what you NEED, and this may help minimize the amount of time spent on apps that really aren’t necessary. As an example, my home page includes: time clock/alarm, step counter, Google Keep, Everydollar budgeting app, photos, maps, and Instagram. These are my most used apps that keep my daily life moving forward. Instagram is my favorite “time-waster” app, but I also use it for my business so I like to keep it close by. All other apps that are time wasters - games, FB, etc, are kept out of sight. I have to dig to find them.
Organize your apps
No matter what smartphone you have, you should be able to group like apps together in categories. On my second home page, I have a handful of app groups. Some helpful groups could be games, travel apps, social media, TV/streaming, music, prayer, etc. This helps to keep things visually organized and easier to find. I especially love my TV group, all the apps to look through for some good streaming are all in the same place!
Turn off notifications
This for me is the BIGGEST trick to keeping my focus off of my phone until I want it to be. I have almost no push notifications, aside from the weather, my calendar, and my messaging app. No facebook notifications, no email notifications, no game notifications. I choose when I want to see my email, not it choosing me. What app notifications could you turn off today to reduce the amount of time your phone blinks at you?
Hopefully you can try some of these tips today and start seeing the benefits! There is really nothing to lose :-)
It seems like there is a never-ending supply of charging cords in our house, of all kinds, all over. They end up on our counters, in drawers, under the coffee table, everywhere. Does this happen to anyone else?! In this blog I am sharing my process for organizing electronics cords, so feel free to follow along now, or save some of these tips for a rainy day.
(For reference, it took me about 40 minutes to go through the process here at our home and it was pretty painless!)
Organizing Your Electronic Cords
First, gather ALL the cords from ALL over your house and pile them together, maybe on the kitchen table. Did you get them all? Ok, go search one more time and get ALL of them! You want to get all of the like items together so you can see the full scale of the problem. (Our household cords shown below for example. We had a few different containers.)
Now that you have all of the cords together, empty them out sort them by type/function. Some categories that we found were:
USB power bricks
Micro USB cord
HDMI cables and adapters
USB 3.0 cords
Mini USB cords
Computer charger cords
Now, time to match and purge. Determine how many of each cord you really need (hint: one per electronic). Determine if any are obsolete. Match up all the cords, and naturally whatever is left over will be for trash/donation.
Next, label all of your cords so you know their specific purpose. You could use a label maker if you want, but even simpler than that would be a piece of masking tape, washi tape, or a white mailing label. Every cord should have one purpose and one label. In my pictures here I used some pink washi tape I already had and wrote on them with a sharpie.
The best way to store your cords is with the electronic they belong. That way you know its match, and it will help keep the random collection of cords at bay. You know if you find a cord with no electronic nearby it is likely extra and is not needed.
In addition, for any new cords or electronics, make sure to label the cords first thing. As you are unwrapping your new toy, make labeling the cord part of the unwrapping process. This will help to maintain your system of cord organization.
There are many cute options for keeping your cords contained. You can buy special cord wrappers, which we have a few for example, for our headphones. Or you can go simple and use rubber bands. One of my favorite products for electronics cords are velcro cord straps. I found them at Wal-Mart and I use them to both tame cords that are not in use, and also to tame cords behind the TV. You can also buy some on Amazon here.
Another tip: we found SO many phone chargers and spare USB charger bricks. We even had 3 iPhone charger cords, and we don't even own an iPhone! We decided to keep one extra of each type of phone charger in our guest room in case our visitors need one when staying over.