Do you reach for your phone the moment you receive a notification? Do you often spend 30 minutes scrolling through social media when you only meant to spend five? If you’re ready to kick these habits, follow these simple tips for reducing your screen time:
Adjust your device settings
To keep your eyes off the screen, make it less appealing with a few changes to your settings. Some apps may draw your attention with their brightly colored designs, so dull them by choosing the Grayscale color filter for your phone. Notifications are also potentially major distractors in your day to day, making it nearly impossible to stay off your device. It’s a good idea to turn off notifications for everything but the most important apps.
Some newer phones have a Raise to Wake or Lift to wake feature, which turns on the display when it senses the phone rising. It may be difficult to ignore each time your display lights up, so disable the feature in your settings. In addition, be sure to utilize the Screen Time feature to monitor your device usage as well as limit the time spent on certain apps.
Create screen-free spaces
Designate certain areas in your home as screen-free spaces, where devices are put to the side. A great place to start is the bedroom, since electronics may have a negative effect on your sleep. Place chargers outside of the bedroom so your devices won’t be close at hand while they charge overnight. Before going to bed, make sure to avoid looking at a screen. Reading a book is a great substitute that often relieves stress and reduces the time spent trying to fall asleep.
After shutting off your phone alarm in the morning, it’s easy to begin browsing aimlessly through social media without even getting out of bed. Make the switch to an alarm clock to prevent this. If you’re looking for additional places to stay off your devices, attempt to keep them out of the bathroom and place them face down when eating a meal.
Try alternative methods
If you rely on your phone for a variety of tasks, consider using other means. For instance, use an actual camera when taking pictures. If you don’t want to lug around a camera, attempt to at least snap fewer photos with your phone and stay more present in the moment.
Check notifications on your fitness tracker or smartwatch rather than your phone. With their smaller screens and fewer capabilities, wearable devices tend to be less engrossing than a phone or tablet. When you have your work email on your phone, it may be difficult not to check your inbox outside of work hours. If possible, only keep that email on your laptop and set clear boundaries with your office about your online availability.
By following just a few of these tips, you can spend less time scrolling and more time living in the moment.