Nearly two-thirds of Americans own smartphones and 46 percent of owners say that this is something they couldn’t live without, according to Pew Research. How can we shake off the phone-zombie syndrome? Here are a few tips on how to spend time off your phone and see the world around you and to spend time with loved ones.

1. Set limits

Rare earth minerals can be found in cell phones and computers. Idaho National Laboratory is conducting research about rare earth mineral recycling.

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Set guidelines for yourself. Have specific times during the day on when you can use your phone. Setting a schedule for yourself will allow you to be more consistent with your phone use. Try not to use your phone when you’re at social events or having a conversation one-on-one. There are apps available to keep track and help set limits. Apps available for iOS devices are Moment and Checky and for Android users OFFTIME and Checky can also be used.

2. Turn off notifications

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ELISE WALLIS | Photo Illustration

Whenever your phones buzz, beep, ring and light up you are instantly inclined to check your phone. Most apps on your phone give notification updates and can suck you in instantly. Try disabling your notifications. With your notifications turned off you will find that instead of checking social media every time something happens, you’re checking once or twice a day.

3. Make plans

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Making plans with someone and sticking to them can get you away from your phone just for a few hours. Whenever you have definite set plans with someone you will be responsible to met those plans and gives you time to get away from your phone.

4. Track your phone habits

DAFNE CHOLET | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

DAFNE CHOLET | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

 

One way to notice that something needs to change is after you’ve kept a record. Try to write down when you are using your phone and what you are doing when you are on your phone. Are you making important calls or just playing candy crush? After you have tracked your usage, set goals on how you can do better.

5. Hide your phone

SMARTSIGN | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

SMARTSIGN | FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

 

In some cases physical barriers are needed to keep you away from your phone just for a few hours. Put your phone in a draw or on a high shelf to keep you from checking it regularly. With your phone in a different place, you are then able to give your undivided attention to whatever task is at hand.