Clever ways to beat your smartphone addiction

Breaking the habit of repeatedly checking your phone can be hard. These tricks and apps will enforce some self-control.

The frustrating thing about a phone addiction is that unlike actual substance abuse, the solution is not to quit cold turkey. Instead, we have to find ways to use this technology responsibly, fighting apps overtly designed to steal our time.

Here are ten habits that help you control your smartphone use.

  1. Stop checking your phone when in line

For most of us, this is exactly what mobile phones are for. But if you want to lean into the boredom that’s essential for creativity and reflection, then stop checking your phone just because you are not doing anything for a minute. This might mean keeping your phone in a different pocket, so you can’t pull it out quite so unconsciously.

2. Turn off the notifications

Turn off all notifications that don’t require immediate action. You can probably leave calls and texts on, but turn off everything and every app with a `follow’ function. Turn off your email notifications too. When you download a new app, disable notifications.

  1. Don’t use your phone in bed

Establish a no-phone time in the morning and evening. To enforce it, use Freedom (iOS) or Offtime (iOSAndroid) to turn off all access to domains like Facebook, and Instagram. That way you can pick up your phone to check for important updates, while shielding yourself from your social feeds.

4. Stop checking your phone in the car

Stick your phone in the glove compartment. Android handsets come with a driving mode that switches you to voice controls. iOS 11 also includes an automatic `Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode. If Google Assistant isn’t enough, download Drivemode for Android for a `no-look’ interface that automatically launches when you start driving.

5. Break the `checking’ cycle

Once you have checked your email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on, it’s tempting to start the loop all over again.

Instead check just one app at a time. Train your self to put your phone down after your intended action. Close apps as soon as you use them. And hide all your distracting apps off the home screen.

6. Choose an end point for your browsing session

Put your clock app on your home screen. When you open your phone, set a timer for how long you want to spend on your phone. Use QualityTime to limit how long you spend on specific apps. Also, try turning your phone off when you are done using it. This may be drastic. But try it just for a day and see the result.

7. Move your phone elsewhere when you watch TV or read

When you are out and about, it makes sense to keep your phone in your pocket. But when you get home, take it out. Leave it to charge, and try treating it like a home phone. The less often you check your phone, the less you get sucked into Twitter.

8. Don’t expect a quick fix

It’s difficult to find the right balance. We appreciate the advantages of a smartphone, and most of us use it more than we want to. These tricks work as long as you are paying attention to them, and apps keep finding new ways to invade your space. So, keep finding ways to trick your brain out of bad behaviour .

Original article at


ULIP could be a good choice for wealth creation Life Insurance

ULIP or Unit linked insurance plan is a market-linked Insurance product that combines the very best of two – investments and insurance into one. The exciting feature of combining investments and insurance into ULIPs has brought a revolution in insurance market in India and it is now one of the most preferred choices among various life insurance products.

How do ULIPs work?

Like any other insurance plan, you need to pay premiums in ULIP. The minimum premium paying term is 5 years. However, unlike other insurance policies, the premiums paid in ULIPs are invested in a fund of your choice after deducting specified charges. These are mainly on account of mortality charges, policy administration and fund management charges.

Post investment in the fund of your choice, units are allotted to you based on the NAV (Net asset value) on the date of your investment. For example – you have paid Rs 100,000 as ULIP annual premium for 20 years, the ULIP plan will give you a life cover of Rs 10Lakhs (Life cover is minimum 10 times of the annual premium as per IRDA guidelines). After specified charges are deducted say, Rs 3,000 the amount of Rs 97,000 is invested in the fund chosen. Suppose the fund NAV is Rs 15.25 on the day you invested, so you will get 6360.6557 units(Rs 97,000/NAV of Rs 15.25).

You can check the fund performance which is reflected in the growth of the Fund NAV. The fund NAV is computed as follows –

(Market value of investments held by the fund + Value of current assets – value of current liabilities) / number of units existing on valuation date

Salient Features of ULIPs

Life Cover – As per IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) guidelines, insurance companies have to provide a minimum life cover of 10 times of annual premium in ULIPs in order to get you the tax benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961.

Many fund choices – You can invest in fund of your choice based on your risk profile and investment objective. You can select growth funds which invests in equities or balanced funds, which invests in both – equities as well as bonds or money market instruments.

Rebalancing your asset allocation – Some companies also offer ‘Automatic Asset Allocation’ feature in ULIP. In this unique feature, the allocation to equities reduces and increases in debt/ money market instruments as the policy term progresses. With this strategy, as your policy gets closer to maturity, funds flow from equity assets (which is riskier) to debt and money markets instruments (which are less risky), thereby protecting your investments from any short term market fluctuations.

No hidden charge – The premiums paid are subject to specified charges which is available to the policy holder when he is buying the ULIPs. Therefore, it is completely transparent. You should buy a ULIP policy where the charges are minimal.

Switching facility – ULIPs provide unique switching facility between funds. This facility is free of any charges and helps you decide which fund to remain invested with depending upon the market conditions.

Partial withdrawals – Partial withdrawals are allowed from 6th policy year onwards. This helps you meet your sudden financial requirements without hampering the plan continuity.

Tax benefits – Like other Insurance plans, premiums paid upto Rs 150,000 in a FY qualifies for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. Since ULIPs are insurance plans, maturity proceeds along with gains are also tax-free under Section 10(10d) of The Income Tax Act.


Enhancing your hard earned money is as important as earning it. As you make efforts to create wealth, you can count on ULIPs to grow it sustainably. As we have seen the choice of automatic asset allocation feature of some of the ULIP plans ensures that you can grow your wealth at sustainable rate based on your desired asset allocation at different life stages.

Insurance is the subject matter of the solicitation

by Priyanka Chakrabarty, at

Five lessons from ICC Champions Trophy Final

The much hyped cricket match between India and Pakistan finished with a gloomy impact on Indian Cricket lovers. Lot of analysis and post mortem will be done on the reasons of India’s defeat. But like elsewhere, sports tournaments too leave a trail of events which bestowed us with more experience and wisdom that ultimately enrich our lives. Let us learn some key lessons from the match and see how we can benefit from this to fine tune our personal finance.

Lesson #1

Keep a cap on your discretionary expenses.

Too many ‘extra runs’ given by Jasprit Bumrah helped Pakistani team to set a big target for India. Similarly avoid making unnecessary or ‘extra’ expenses which may set our financial goals too heavy to achieve.

Lesson #2

Avoid impulse buying.

Early wickets of opening Batsman Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli put Indian team on big trouble and ultimately they could not achieve the target set by Pakistanis. Many times we start for investing for a goal but very soon we have an urge to buy something attractive (like costly mobiles, luxury Cars, jewellery etc.) and we withdraw that amount to pay for our luxury. That makes our goals more difficult to achieve.

Lesson #3

Start early and invest regularly.

India’s target was 339 in 300 balls that are some 1.13 runs per ball. Does it seem to be very challenging task? If singles could be scored from the very first ball with occasional boundaries, the target would have been easily achievable. Just like that, start small investment with your first pay check and continue till the end of your financial goals. Your effort should be to be disciplined and consistent and leave the rest on power of compounding. You will notice how comfortably you are on your financial goals.

Lesson #4

Have a protection for your life and health.

Jadeja is being blamed for Hardik Pandya’s run out. He was so focused on his own running that he couldn’t see Pandya was coming on his way which leads to fall of the wicket of highest scorer from Indian team.

Likewise many a times we are so busy with our profession that we forgot to look at our family and take adequate protection for them. One sudden death of the earning member or a critical health issue of any family member could jeopardise your financial goals completely. Take a life insurance and health insurance cover to guard your family from falling in any financial mess in case you are not around.

Lesson # 5

Build a partnership, with your advisor.

It needs two to tango! One of the big reasons why India failed to achieve the target is that no two batsmen could build a robust partnership. History shows, a winning team mostly represented by marvellous partnership from any two batsmen.

Build a long term mutual relationship with your advisor based on trust and compassion. He can guide you best in the ups and down of financial matter and at the end both of you can come out as a winning team in the lifetime tournament of wealth creation.

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