Too much screen time can lead to sleep disturbance and insomnia, mood swings, obesity, and symptoms of depression. If it's finally time for you to cut down on screen time once and for all, here are 9 ways to bring you back to a healthier relationship with your digital devices.
1. Disable notifications.
When it comes down to it, notifications are powerful distractions that take your focus away when you need it the most. More often than not, a few seconds looking at a notification can turn into a few minutes, and then a few hours. Disable notifications in your phone or computer settings and see your productivity levels skyrocket.
2. Be mindful of picking up the phone.
Do you know what causes you to pick your phone up to use it? Is it notifications? Is it boredom? Can you find ways to be more mindful of your phone pickups?
3. Take chargers out of the bedroom.
Keeping phone or laptop chargers in your bedroom--especially at your bedside--makes it much easier for you to spend all your time before bed in front of a screen. If you are using your phone for an early morning alarm, why not invest in a real alarm clock instead?
4. Move around your apps.
More specifically, move the apps you waste the most time on to another screen if possible. Doing this can prevent you from opening them immediately by force of habit. Sometimes, a few seconds' worth of delay is what will keep you from using your phone too much.
5. Go analog.
Although it seems super old school, using paper and pen for certain tasks or projects can be a great way to organize and review your thoughts. The sheer physical act of writing brings your work process a different, and possibly more productive, dynamic to your work.
6. Don't take the screen with you to the restroom.
A restroom trip typically takes less than 10 minutes. But if your time in the restroom seems to take longer than usual, it may be because you're spending more time on your phone than necessary.
7. Turn off the TV.
Done with an episode of your favorite show? Consider turning off the television immediately--no need to flip mindlessly between channels just because you can.
8. Schedule your screen time.
Although an obvious way to reduce screen time, scheduling time for yourself to be on your computer or to watch TV is an effective way to limit screen time. It requires self-discipline, but you can do it.
9. Take it one step at a time.
There's no denying the fact that our world is heavily dependent on technology. If you can find ways to step away from these devices for even a few minutes each day, be sure to celebrate these small wins. Introduce new habits one by one and success will follow.