Are you guilty of spending too much time scrolling through your phone, watching TV, or playing videogames?
In the U.S. alone, nearly 95 percent of people own smartphones, which means we collectively spend lots of time looking down at our screens. As a hub of information and social connection, it can be difficult to turn away and focus on other things.
The more you use these devices, the harder it becomes to put them down. If you aren’t careful, you’ll spend much more time than you think mindlessly scrolling instead of focusing on yourself. This can lead to severe social media addiction that’s difficult to break away from.
So, if you want to reduce your daily screen time, here are five ways to get started.
Track Your Screen Time
If you think you’re addicted to screens, you likely are. But it’s still helpful to know how much time you’re spending this way so you can create a strategy to reduce it significantly.
Most smartphones can show you where you spend your time on your phone and how much. Apple iPhones let users set time limits for apps, schedule time away, choose apps available at all times, and more.
Spend a couple of days or a full week using your phone and smart devices like you regularly do. Don’t try to downplay your usage so you see better results; go about your day normally so you have real numbers to work with. By the end, you’ll see how much your screen time affects your time management so you can move forward with positive changes.
Delete Time-Wasting Apps
When people start a new diet, they throw away their junk food because it’s easier to resist temptation if it doesn’t exist in the first place. You may think you have tons of self-control but may come to learn you require more self-discipline.
Train yourself to stop seeking social screen time by deleting the apps you waste the most time on. Social media is known for sucking up all your time and making the day pass without you noticing. Unless you run an online business that profits off of social platforms, then it’s unnecessary to keep these apps around. You can even take it a step further by deactivating or deleting your accounts so you don’t feel tempted to return.
Set a Timer
How serious are you about reducing your daily screen time? Do you sincerely intend to change your habits or are you hoping for a miracle? There’s no secret formula that will magically make you feel less inclined to use technology, but you can make it easier on yourself.
Set a timer for how long you want to scroll social media, watch a show, or scroll through Reddit. Decide how much time you want to realistically spend and use the timer to hold yourself accountable. When time is up, you have no choice but to stop what you’re doing and move onto something else.
Leave Your Work at Home
Most jobs require you to interact with a screen of some sort. For those who need screens to do their job, there’s not much you can do while you’re at work. That’s why it’s important to enforce these tactics at home where you have control over your schedule and environment.
Refrain from checking emails and responding to clients while you’re at home. You can even automate your emails so subscribers still receive your content on time. Work is meant to be done while you’re at work; not when you’re relaxing with loved ones and living your life. You need to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing by leaving work at work and embracing home life without the pressure of phones and laptops.
For workaholics especially, it’s difficult not to worry about work no matter where you are. Remember that reducing your overall screen time improves your health all around and is worth holding off.
Take up a Hobby
All the time you spend scrolling through apps and watching movies could be spent on a hobby. It’s common to turn to Twitter or Facebook when you feel bored or lazy, but you can use that energy and turn it into something meaningful.
People take up hobbies to reduce stress, feel fulfillment, and hone their skills. It’s a great way to take your mind elsewhere and relax doing something you truly enjoy.
Instead of reaching for your phone or laptop next time, consider starting a hobby. The time you spend on your new craft will supersede the time you spent watching life pass you by. Make sure it’s something you have a genuine interest in so you don’t instantly gravitate back to your phone.
Over to You
If you struggle to keep your eyes off your computer, phone, or television screen, you’re not the only one. Many people end up wasting time mindlessly scrolling through content instead of paying attention to what’s around them and being productive. You can avoid this by monitoring your screen time, limiting it significantly, and replacing it with something you enjoy. How will you reduce your screen time this year?