Dealing with phone addiction part 1: frequency of phone access

Owning a smartphone and having internet connection always makes you one tap away from either making good or bad use of your time. I recently got curious about my phone use habits since smartphones have become an indispensable tool. Since I have a habit of taking screenshots whenever I see repeated numbers e.g., 1414, 0505 or 1010 on my phone homescreen, I decided to use all the screenshots from January 2022 to September 2022 and see how many times I had taken a screenshot of repeating numbers. In as much as I won’t always access my phone at exactly 0808hrs or 2121hrs, use of these screenshots as a proxy to when and how frequently I access my phone may help me understand my phone access habits, and what this may mean to my productivity. Below are the results:

What does the graph above mean?

  • Highest access to the phone happens in the 8-10AM, 2-5PM and 7-10PM time bands
  • Moderate access to the phone happens in the 10-12PM and 5-7PM time bands
  • Low phone use happens in the 5-8AM, 12-2PM and 10PM-5AM time bands

High frequency of access to the phone

The highest phone use in at 7-10PM time band, followed by 2-PM time band and the lowest is in the 8-10AM time bands. There could be several reasons behind this.

  • Most non-work related communications happen after you have gotten home and settled for the evening – hence highest phone use in the 7-10PM time band
  • There is almost no access to the phone in the 12-2PM which means some of the 2-5PM time is used to compensate for this
  • Third-highest use of the phone in 8-10AM could be attributed to the fact that I prefer sending texts and making important phone calls just before I immerse myself fully to the work for the day. Some work-related planning also happens over the phone in this time band

Moderate access to the phone

Why do I have moderate access to the phone in 10-12PM and 5-7PM time bands?

  • 10-12PM has reduced phone access compared to the 8-10 period. It is the most productive period in a day. It is when am already focused on work after planning in the 8-10 period. It’s also the time of the day whose output determines how productive the remainder of the day shall be.
  • 5-7PM time band has less phone use than the 2-5PM period because I will either be concentrating to finish up with pending work for the day, be commuting back home or visiting the market to buy household items

Little to no use of the phone

I have little to no use of the phone at 5-8AM (period for waking up, preparing breakfast and commuting to work), 12-2PM (time for most meetings and also lunch hour), and 10PM-5AM (sleep time)

Conclusion

Ability to access the phone happens as often as it is practically possible and necessary. However, the approach of a deadline, physical activities and dynamic social interactions do reduce the need to access the phone

Next action

Next action is to follow phone use activity and establish how productive or time wasting my phone use is.

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