Time to Unplug! How to Control "Check-in" Addiction

Are you sleeping with your mobile device on your pillow? You might have a problem. Try these 4 steps to cutting the cord

Written by Mira Shenker

With the long weekend approaching, you may be thinking about how you’ll manage to get wi-fi at the cottage. Before you paddle the canoe out to the middle of the lake hoping to catch a few extra bars of reception, consider the value of checking out every once in a while.

To successfully detach yourself from what 99u.com editor Jocelyn K. Glei calls “the security blanket of the 21st century,” try her four tips to control check-in addiction (co-written with Adobe’s Scott Belsky):

1. Understand your emotional attachment to your smartphone. The first step to conquering your addiction? Admitting you have a problem. In the book Thumb Culture, author Jane Vincent talks about the panic people feel when separated from their mobile device, the irrational behaviour it prompts (talking while driving, for example) and the thrill of being constantly connected. The reason we spend so much time on our phones is, at its root, tied to emotions, says Vincent. Understanding why you’re so attached can be the first step to cutting the cord.

2. Check in with purpose. Glei and Belsky compare staring blankly at your emails or Twitter to standing in front of the fridge when you’re not really hungry: you’re just bored. Don’t impulsively glance at your messages; check your phone only if you’re expecting a note about something specific.

3. Think of each check-in as a mini-sprint, not a marathon. Check your device if you must, but don’t get sucked in. You meant to check your email or a text, and suddenly you’re scrolling through photos on Facebook. If you’re following tip No. 2, stick to the plan. Check in with purpose, then check out.

4. Practice good netiquette. If you’re tempted to check in, think about social etiquette. Checking your phone means checking out of whatever social interaction you’re meant to be engaging in. It’s fine to check your phone when you’re alone, but set some ground rules about checking it when others are around. If you’ve ever made a presentation, think about that one attendee who looked at his phone the entire time. Don’t be that guy.

What do you think? Can you leave your phone alone this weekend? Leave your comments below.

Want more work-life balance advice? Read How to Connect with Your Family

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com