How to spend less time on your phone .... and why it might be just what you need in your life.
I'm the first to admit I can't live without my phone. It helps me stay connected with friends and family and helps me get to where I'm going (thank goodness for maps!) ... it's also my go-to way to waste time while I'm waiting around.
While all these things can be useful (and helpful). spending less time on your phone could seriously benefit you — who likes the idea of being a total slave to a tiny touch screen?
Everyone is different and not all these ideas may work for you but here are some suggestions to help you detach from your phone so you can set back and experience life in full, instead of behind a screen:
How Can I Spend Less Time On My Phone?
Have Designated "No Phone" Times
Choose times throughout the day where you won't use your phone. Dinner time is a good time to put your phone away so you can be engaged in conversation with others and times throughout the day without your phone can help you focus on other things, like that book you've been wanting to finish.
Choose times that work for you and keep your phone out of sight and out of mind.
I've tried out not using my phone between breakfast and lunch. I turn it off, put it in my bag, and look forward to when I can turn on my phone and check an email or two during my lunch break. Have a "no phone" time after dinner is also helpful. Instead of wasting time on Instagram before I got to bed, I just go to bed (and get more sleep). And guess what? Those notifications and new pictures on the 'gram and there when I wake up.
Download This App
If you don't think you spend that much time on your phone, maybe you're due for a wakeup call. Moment is a screen-time tracker app. The app breaks down how much time you spend on your phone daily, and maps out where all that time is being spent. What could you be doing with an extra 3 hours and 42 minutes in your life?? Realizing how much time I actually spend on my phone was a huge wake up call.
The app also allows you to set limits (like a 1 hour limit) and set challenges for yourself. You can also compare your usage to your family and keep track of each other's "reduce screen time" goals to help motivate you all to use your phone less.
Don't Use Your Phone As An Alarm Clock
Using your phone as an alarm clock is convenient, but stop and think about how "setting your alarm" every night turns into time spent scrolling through Facebook. And, turning off your alarm every morning turns into you getting out of bed late because you got sucked into another app.
Use an alarm clock for your wake up call in the morning and charge your phone away from your bed (maybe even in another room). You won't be as tempted to use your phone when you should be sleeping and studies show that the light from your screens is affecting the quality of your sleep anyways.
Turn Off Notifications
App notifications can be pretty tricky. Seeing that little notification staring back at you makes it hard not to click on and check. Turn off notifications for apps that aren't urgent and you'll spend less time looking through your notifications constantly.
Delete Social Media Apps
If you need to rid of time-sucking apps, social media is the place to start! They are designed to keep you on the app as long as possible so you see more ads, (hopefully) buy more things, and make them more money.
Deleting the app doesn't mean you have to quit social media cold turkey, but it will help you spend less time on it. You can still visit websites through your browser on your phone, or your desktop. Deleting the apps just makes it much less accessible.
Set A Timer
Lets be real, quitting using your phone all together isn't realistic for most (or all) of us. Give yourself time to look at things you love and pin all the things on Pinterest! Set a timer and designate time to use your phone and once the time is up, move on to something else.
Make A List Of All The Things You Want To Do
A lot of times we are bored and that makes us turn to our phone for entertainment. Make a simple list of things you'd like to do in you free time and use that as your new boredom "go to" list. Some of mine include:
- Practice water color painting
- Visit a wildflower field
- Finish my current book
- Write in my journal
- Send a letter to a friend
- Deep cleaning a room in my house
- Try a new dessert recipe
- Meal prep for the week
- Throw in a load of laundry / organize a portion of my house
- Edit all the photos on my computer
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