We all know by now that increased screen time is not the best for us, but it can sometimes feel like it’s impossible to break the habit. If if just needed self control we’d probably be ok! Today I wanted to share some ideas to help reduce your screen time, and I’d love to hear your tips too. The less we use our screens the better our brain can function, so it’s well worth giving it a shot.
Now, I’m not trying to pretend we can all just leave our phones at home and go about our lives. Nor do I think it’s feasible to pretend most of us can get away with not looking at a computer screen for much of the work day. Instead, these suggestions are ways to reduce your screen time for those more discretionary functions. The more deliberate we can be in our actions around screen time the better – for our productivity, our attention spans, you name it.
Track Your Usage
The first way to reduce your screen time is to first track how much you are actually using it, and for what functions. This can be done automatically on both iPhones and Android devices, so the hard work is taken care of. Be warned though, it might show some fairly confronting information! Once you are armed with the stats on where most of your time is spent you can plan where you need to focus your attention. You can even set limits for particular apps if you need more hands on guidance.
Turn Off Notifications
This is a super simple one, but it’s also a super effective way to reduce your screen time. Turning off your notifications means that you aren’t distracted at times when you really should be focusing on something else. It will take some getting used to, and you’ll probably find yourself unlocking your phone to check for notifications for the first little while, but you’ll wean yourself off it eventually. Taking back control is key to reducing your screen time, and you can always continue to allow notifications for things that matter the most to you.
Set Up Phone Free Times and Zones
Phones have definitely crept into every part of our lives, so setting up some boundaries is an excellent plan. This might be as simple as no phones during meals, or deciding to turn your bedroom in to a phone-free zone. The bathroom is another excellent place to start in terms of phone free zones! I know people that set an alarm for a certain time of the evening, after which they need to pop their phone away, or set up ‘do-not-disturb’ mode for certain times of the day. There’s lots of options, so play around and find out what works for you. If you need some ideas for screen free evenings I have you covered there!
Move or Remove Apps
If you find yourself ending up on certain apps (I’m looking at you instagram) without really knowing how you got there, there are a few ways to try and overcome this. The first is to move those apps away from the front page of your phone so you have to actively seek it out. If that isn’t enough for you, then try deleting the apps for certain days or times, then you definitely can’t accidentally find yourself scrolling endlessly.
Remove Chargers From Your Bedroom
If you find it tricky to keep your phone out of your bedroom, try taking the chargers out first. Most of us charge our phones overnight, so you’re forced to leave it in another room to enable that to occur. Depending on how deep a sleeper you are you may need to invest in an old fashioned alarm clock for your bedroom, but I find keeping it plugged in outside my bedroom tends to do the trick.