In this day and age, our phones have become an extension of ourselves. We check them first thing in the morning, use them throughout the day and even before we go to sleep. With so much technology in our pockets, it’s no wonder our phones can be so addictive. In this article, we will provide some tips and tricks on how to make your phone less addictive, so you can take control of your phone and not the other way around.

woman looking at smartphone

Turn off unnecessary notifications

Most notifications are generated by machines and are not essential. They keep our phones buzzing and luring us back into apps we don’t really need. To avoid distractions, go to your phone’s settings > notifications and turn off all notifications except for those from actual people who want your attention. Better yet, turn off all your notifications altogether to minimize the chances of being distracted.

blue and white logo guessing game

Change your screen to greyscale

Colourful icons give our brains rewards every time we look at our phone, making it harder to resist using them. Changing your screen to greyscale can reduce this effect. In iOS, go to settings > general > accessibility > accessibility shortcut (bottom) > colour filters. This allows you to triple-tap the home button to toggle greyscale on and off when needed. In Android, go to settings > digital wellbeing & parental control > wind down.

black smartphone showing white medication pill

Charge your phone outside the bedroom to reduce temptation

Getting a separate alarm clock and charging your phone in another room can reduce the temptation to use your phone before bed or in the morning. You can wake up without getting sucked into your phone before getting out of bed.

black and gray rectangular device on brown wooden table

Use your home screen for tools only to reduce addiction

Limit your first page to tools – the apps you use for quick tasks such as Maps, Camera, Calendar, and Notes. Move the rest of your apps, especially those that you tend to use mindlessly, off the first page and into folders. This way, you are less likely to open them out of habit.

turned-on space gray iPhone X

Launch apps by typing their names

This is an easy way how to make your phone less addictive. Swiping down and typing the name of the app you want to open can also help reduce the temptation to open unnecessary apps. Typing takes just enough effort to make us pause and ask, “Do I really want to do this?” In Android, you can use the search box on your home screen. In iOS, for best results turn off Siri suggestions (settings > Siri & search > Siri suggestions to off).

Close-up of Smart Phone

Remove social media apps from your phone

If you find yourself wasting too much time on social media apps, try removing them from your phone altogether. Social media apps can be the easiest way to get lost in time, so train yourself to use them only on your computer (if at all). Note: you can delete the Facebook app and still get some specific features, such as Messenger for messages.

Silver Iphone

Use audio notes or call instead of texting

Text messages can be easily misinterpreted, while the voice is rich with tone and less vulnerable to misinterpretation. Recording a quick voice message is often faster and less stressful than typing a message. Plus, it doesn’t require your full visual attention.

man in gray crew neck long sleeve shirt holding black smartphone

Use texting shortcuts

In iOS, press and hold on a text message and you’ll see a menu of quick reactions. This can be faster than crafting a response and can also add some context, giving a taste of the emotion that’s often lost in a text.


Our phones can be a great source of productivity and entertainment, but they can also be addictive. By implementing these tips and tricks, you can take control of your phone and make it less addictive. Remember, you should be in control of your phone, not the other way around.

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