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12 productive things to do on your phone (besides checking the news)

Find yourself glued to your phone these days? Instead of compulsively checking the news or falling down a social media rabbit hole, here are 12 ways to be more productive and intentional with your screen time. 

  1. Weed out photos. Heart your favorites, create folders, and delete those mysterious burst photos of the ceiling, someone's finger, or a toddler's foot. Bonus points if you commit to making a photo book, or actually set up a shared album (via Google Photos or iCloud) for last year's family reunion photos.
  2. Clean up your home screen and create app folders. Be mindful about what you put on the home screen and what types of digital behaviors you're trying to reinforce. (i.e. move social media apps to a less convenient place)
  3. Try to get to inbox zero. (You know you want to.) If there was ever a time to select all and delete that junk mail into oblivion, this would be it. But we also understand if that isn't your cup of tea. You can also bring order to your inbox by: creating folders, creating smart rules, unsubscribing, or starring your most important contacts. Progress starts when you start!
  4. Create a digital gratitude journal in Notes. Jot down what you're thankful for as the moments occur to you. They may be fleeting, so take a moment to document them as you go. You may find hidden blessings when looking back on this challenging time.
  5. Set up keyboard short cuts. Tired of typing your full email address? Go to General - Keyboard - Text Replacement - and create a unique alpha/numeric code for the word. (e.g. EML1 = youremail@email.com) Here's a great how-to.
  6. Update all your passwords. Identity thieves are quarantined, too. Give those jerks a run for their money and freshen up all your passwords for maximum security. Just don't include the letters/numbers COVID-19. (Too obvious.)
    on-phone-1
  7. Weed out your social media followers. If you don't even recognize their maiden name, it's probably time to bless and release (that's yogi for "unfriend"). Just beware the gravitational pull of your news feed.
  8. Be mindful of your health. Download a pedometer (step counter), hydration tracking app, or food journal. Assign an emergency contact. Start a meditation practice (with Headspace or Calm).
  9. Create calendar reminders for family members' and friends' birthdays. Set an intention to wish all your favorite people a happy birthday... and let the reminder help you follow through.
  10. Create a new music playlist or read iTunes reviews to discover your next favorite artist. Never underestimate the influence music can have on your mood.
  11. Check your privacy/security settings, especially location services. Pay special attention to the apps that are always on, since those collect the most data about you.
  12. Create a "me-moji" (your digital doppelgänger). While it's not exactly productive, this activity is sure to provide a much-needed laugh. For additional comic relief, create one for each of your family members and send them a text with their lookalike. See how long it takes for them to catch on. 

Let us know how you're making good use of your idle phone time. Are there any digital housekeeping items on your list this spring?

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