Ever dreamt of a dystopian world where a deadly virus turned people into zombies? Well, seeing brain-eating humanoids is far from reality. But... is it? It may not be as gruesome as those in the movies. But a viral phenomenon has plagued almost everyone. If you have a smartphone, chances are you have "zombie checked" your device. And it's affecting your productivity and your health as a freelancer.
Zombie Checked? "Zombie check" is the impulsive act where you use your device to avoid moments of boredom. For example, you are waiting for your next meeting, uploading your final output, or taking a break from your freelance work. How do you kill the time? You check your phone! Our smartphone has been zombie scrolled so much. It’s becoming an impulse we can’t fight.
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So What's the Problem? Technology has given us progress throughout the years. But this excessive unproductive "zombie checks" may damage our well-being. It can cost us our mental health, social health, and even sleep deprivation. What's worse is that an average person checks their phone every 12 minutes (includes zombie checks). This is detrimental to our remote working output. Also, if you think this only for teenagers, think again. This is pretty much present in us adults. In fact, adults are three times more addicted to zombie checking the past year! What to do we do now? How do we not transform into full-fledged zombies checkers?
Monitor Your Usage First of all, you should monitor your usage. Use your own phone applications to determine the frequency of your phone use and at what time you use it. Applications like Screen Time (iOS) and Digital Wellbeing (Android) can be helpful tools to track when you spend your time on your phone. If for some reason you can't use the apps above, you can try the Space App for both iOS and Android.
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Identify the Cause After seeing the numbers, identify the cause of your phone checking addiction. For example, does the number coincide on moments you are bored waiting for something or during a long commute? Or is it in between shifts from your online work? What's important is that you check what time of day you are highly active and what activities you are doing in those particular hours. From there, you can start devising a plan to lessen the hours.
Make a Plan Now that you know the target hours, it's time to make a plan. Set the goals you want to achieve based on the number you got from your monitoring. A plan is important because you have something to target to and in return, you more aware with increased self-control. For example, you want to decrease the number of hours by 10% for this week. Maybe download an app like the Forest App to block your phone from being usable at a certain time. Or better yet, read a book instead when you feel bored. Be creative and curb the urge to zombie check.
Feedback and Readjust After trying your plan for a week, check the results. Did you achieve your goals? Or did you fail because you targeted a large (quite impossible) decrease at the first go? What are your distractions in achieving your plan? How did you overcome it? Or if not, can you think of something to conquer it? A one-size-fits-all plan doesn't exist. You need to self-reflect and readjust depending on your current situation and progress. With that, I hope you don't turn into a zombie checking humanoid. Let us work towards freeing ourselves from this "disease" for more productivity and better health. Good luck!