When I read this article, I thought, I am definitely not one of those people who check their mobile phones in the middle of the night, but here I am in the middle of the night writing this post! So, in fact, I am guilty of checking my phone on more than a couple of occasions in the last 20 minutes!  

The reality is that in one way or another our lives are very much ruled by what comes through on our phones. 

Somehow we have convinced ourselves that if an e-mail comes in, it requires an immediate response, whether it genuinely does or not.  Just by having received it in that way, we react with urgency. It is unlikely that you would respond to a piece of correspondence that comes to your door in the same way.

As an employment lawyer, I find that it is more convenient for my clients to speak to me outside of normal working hours (whatever they are!) than during the day when they don't want their bosses or colleagues to overhear any sensitive and confidential conversations. I am also no longer surprised to find that a lot of HR professionals only have mobile numbers as their means of contact and very often are responding to or sending e-mails very late in the evening. I often wonder whether some of them are still in an office somewhere in the dark with a single beam of light over their heads beavering away, but the reality is that they are, like me, working from home and not tied to an office. 

We have all become more flexible in our approach to work and that means relying more heavily on our mobile phones. Not just a tool to take or make a call, they now allow us to read our e-mails at all times of the day (or night), prepare and amend documents and of course access the many social media apps that one seems not to be able to do without these days.  

So, it is no surprise, to me at least, that there are a growing number of us that not only constantly have our mobiles glued to our hands, but that we also allow them into our beds at night.  

If they do not yet exist, it won't be long before you will be able to attend a phone detox retreat. Sign me up!

7 self-help tips for phone addicts 

  1. Unless an e-mail requires an immediate response, do not respond to e-mails within less than 30 minutes after they arrive.
  2. Get into the habit of deleting unwanted or uninvited posts to your e-mail.
  3. Check your social media posts no more than 5 times a day.
  4. If your phone has to be on during the night, do not keep it in the room in which you sleep or that of your children – it can affect their mood!
  5. If you cannot help but having your phone in your bedroom at night, place it on airplane mode so that your sleep is not interrupted by alerts.
  6. If you do wake up in the middle of the night, do not look at your phone or your clock to find out the time. Just imagine that you have had only one hour’s sleep and you have the rest of the night to sleep and relax.
  7. Sleep well!