Depending on what kind of a job you have, you might need to consult your phone and/or email quite often but most people don't need to do this. Many people use their emails, texts, phone calls, and status updates to keep track of what's going on in their friend circles. But what can you do when it becomes compulsive and you just can't help yourself from checking up using your mobile device all of the time? That's when your device becomes an electronic leash and it can be hard to let go of it.
1. Stop Using Email: TechCrunch's MG Siegler stopped using email in July. At least he tried it. It worked well, but he used Facebook, Twitter, and other services to respond to some people, while he sent about 40 email responses to the thousands he received. While most people cannot quit email, you can use it less by not checking your work email when you're at home.
2. Switching off Your Phone or Keeping it on Vibrate/Silent: Do you still keep a ringer on your phone? Granted, they can be quite fun to customize, but honestly, we can even wake up with the vibration of our phones, there's no need to signal everyone in your nearby vicinity that you're getting calls or texts.
3. Use Inbox Zero: Inbox Zero might be hard to attain, but it's something that will sever your dependence on emails. While this technique generally works with emails, it will also give you a taste of being free from electronic leashes. We use Inbox Zero and we've found that we tend to check our social networks a lot less than before.
4. Unplug from Social Networking: While there are quite a few different social networking sites, at some point, there are just too many to check out. We tend to use only one service every day (Twitter), while the others are just relegated to weekly or monthly checkups.
5. Reading Books: We do read some ebooks, but most of the books we read are still paperbacks and hardcover books. It's surprising how easy it is to get engaged with a good book and to let go of all of the distractions that surround us. The important thing about using a real book instead of an ebook is that you won't be tempted to answer an email, a tweet, or a status update while you're reading.
(Images: Flickr member Thedalogs licensed for use under Creative Commons, Flickr member Matt Packer licensed for use under Creative Commons and Flickr member Hyperdashery licensed for use under Creative Commons, )