If you struggled with overusing your phone before the pandemic, you’re likely on it even more these days. In several studies, screen time and social media use has been linked to loneliness, depression and anxiety and in my opinion, it isn’t exactly fulfilling to look back at the hours spent on my phone each week. If you’re like me, you might be looking for some ideas to cut back on the phone use altogether. I’ve got you covered!
This might seem obvious, but there are tools within your phone that make it easier to limit your usage. Most smart phones have built in settings like Do Not Disturb mode, and time checks to limit your use of certain apps. At the end of the week they provide analytics to tell you if your screen time was up, down or the same as the previous week. If you wanted to, you could even challenge yourself to spend less and less time on your phone each week so it doesn’t feel as necessary by setting shorter allotted times for each app.
These tools are handy to keep you in check because they allow you to hone in on where you’ve been spending your digital time the most. There are several apps out there like QualityTime for Android and Moment for Apple and Android that will also do this for you while providing engaging bonus content.
Move Your Apps Around (or Delete Them!)
Do you find yourself gravitating to one or two apps more often than others? You could move them off your home screen or delete them altogether to set boundaries for yourself. Instead of accessing them through your smartphone, you could limit your use of Facebook or Twitter for example to your computer.
Use Your Smart Speaker
It might seem odd that I’m suggesting you use another piece of technology to limit your screen time, but a smart speaker does just that. Instead of searching in a browser on your phone, you can ask Alexa, Google and Apple Home speakers to do it for you. They also allow you to set timers, play music and even communicate to other people in your home if you have multiple devices. It’s a good integration of technology without having to rely on your phone.
Keep Your Hands Occupied
It’s hard to use your phone when you are doing other things! If you want to take a break from your phone, the most rewarding thing to do would be to busy your mind with a new hobby or skill. You could take up crafting, a musical instrument, doing puzzles, reading and more. During this pandemic, I really wanted to create something so I took up an old hobby of mine: embroidery. It involves both hands and has proven to be very meditative and calming. The payoff is entirely worth it as you’ve got a beautiful piece of art to share or display when you’re done!
Do you have a strategy to limit your phone time? Drop your tips and tricks below.