1. Delete social media from your phone. You’ve probably been told to step away from social media a million times — and it’s never going to happen. You’re always going to want to check to see what’s going on with the world. Instead of going cold turkey and giving up on social media completely, you can simply delete those apps from your phone. You can look at them whenever you’re on your laptop, but when you’re out and about, you should stay away from them.
Another great alternative is to install an application on your browser that monitors how long you spend on certain sites. You can set timers so that you’re only allowed to spend X amount of time on Twitter or YouTube per day, which might help you cut down on the scrolling.
2. Create a strong separation from your work life and personal life. In this day and age, it’s way too common for your work life to bleed into the rest of your life, but you should take precautions to prevent that from happening. Unless it’s impossible with your particular career path, don’t answer emails after your work hours. Don’t answer work related calls or texts after your work hours.
Don’t even talk too much about work when you’re out with your friends. Give yourself a few minutes to vent and brag and catch up — but then talk about anything else. Don’t let your mind keep wandering back to work when you’re supposed to be out having fun.
3. Listen without the intent to respond. Too many people listen to others, simply because they know they’re going to get the chance to speak next. And that’s not really listening. You’re only paying half attention to them, because the other half is on yourself.
You need to stop this bad habit. When someone else is talking, don’t worry about how you’re going to respond. Don’t get distracted by your own stories you want to tell. Hear what they have to say. Genuinely listen to them. And the responses will come naturally.
4. Get rid of the distractions around you. If you’re out with friends and have your phone sitting on the counter, you’re going to keep grabbing it whenever you get a notification. That’s why you need to recognize when something is pulling your attention away from the present and get rid of the distraction.
Put your phone on silent. Tuck it away in your pocket. Make the conscious decision that whatever is happening right then and there, between you and the people around you, is more important than whatever is happening on that screen.
5. Savor the little moments you constantly take for granted. Instead of gulping down your coffee in the morning, take the time to really taste it, to really enjoy it.
Instead of watching your favorite show while multitasking, pay close attention to each line, to each detail, to each character.
Instead of giving a quick peck to your partner and a quick hello to your dog, really take the time to enjoy their company, to let them know how much you care, to make the moment last.