simple hacks to control cell phone distraction

7 Simple Hacks to Control Cell Phone Distraction

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

“Leave the distracted masses to join a focused few”

Cal Newport, Deep Work

What’s the best way to control smartphone distractions?

We intend to work, but instead proceed to scroll through Instagram looking for inspirational quotes about productivity and time management. We look like we are working, but nothing gets done.

To do deep meaningful work, we need to perform ONE essential task that is at the center of our priorities. If you are a writer, put words on paper. If you are a salesman, make phone calls. If you are a youtuber, make videos. If you are a student, do your homework.

When focus and concentration are compromised by smartphones, there is one obvious solution to the problem. It’s called self-control. Good news – it’s free. Bad news – it does not work. Addictive technology hacked the weaknesses of our brain a long time ago, and gets better at it every day.

To hack back, here are 7 simple hacks that can help you beat smartphone distraction.

1. Get a Dumb Phone

The best way to not be distracted by a smartphone is not to have one. Here are the phones that only look like smartphones:

Gabb (promo code TECHDETOX, discounts vary depending on current promotion)

Pinwheel (promo code TECHDETOX for 10% OFF)

Bark (promo code TECHDETOX20)

Troomi (promo code TECHDETOX for $30 OFF)

Light phone

2. Lock Up Your Phone

Lock away temptations in a time locking container. These gadgets are commitment devices that help us build better digital habits – once it’s locked, you can’t change your mind.

Classroom Phone Organizer

An especially urgent case of separating the user from the phone is the classroom. Cell phone organizers keep the phones physically off the students to minimize distraction and – let’s face it – academic cheating.

3. Use a Productivity App

To help you reclaim focus and productivity while prioritizing things that truly matter, apps like Freedom block distracting websites and time-wasting apps, or even the whole internet at the time of your choosing.

Get 30% OFF with our exclusive promo code TDB30

4. Make Your Phone Disappear

Put your phone out of sight and out of mind.

Faraday Bag

Faraday bags block WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals: no distractions would come through. Since the phone cannot be tracked, privacy and data security are an added benefit.


Lock the phone inside a Yondr pouch by a magnet to create phone-free spaces that nurture human presence:

Unplug Box

Put the phone in a box and concentrate on what matters.

5. Go Old World

Who said that knowledge work requires a phone – or even a computer? People have lived without them for millennia. The best works of literature and science were hand-written. All you need to capture ideas is pen and paper, and your own head. Just grab a notepad or a journal and go for a walk to help you think.

6. Keep Your Hands Busy

If your fingers are reaching for the phone out of habit, keep them busy with fidget toys – they help your mind focus and have an added benefit of calming you down. People with ADHD might find these simple toys especially therapeutic.

7. Learn From the Wise

You would not need any gadgets if you simply put some distance between you and your phone when you need to focus. Single device work is the key – just silence the phone and leave it in another room. Do your work on a desktop computer and resist opening multiple tabs to minimize distractions.

Take Back Control
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive latest digital wellbeing research and screen time management solutions. We never share your email with third parties.

Leave a Reply