Screens are everywhere. Whether it’s at home, at work, at the gym or even your car, an unbridled amount of flashy displays are always at your disposal. Be it small or large, electronic devices are engineered to be addictive and hard to put down. Here are seven simple tips to reduce your screen time and enjoy a low-tech day.
- Be Picky: While it may be a nice accommodation, having a screen in your bedroom – or even worse, your kid’s room – can trap you for hours on end. Studies show that children spend an extra hour and a half watching TV and less time with their parents when a screen is in the room. Exercise caution when inviting a new piece of electronics into the bedroom, it may trap you.
- Go Old School: The number of apps offering social connections is infinite, but a recent study says loneliness is at an all-time high. If you’re wondering why, that’s because online interactions are not the same as face-to-face interactions. There’s no need to delete any social media, but if you can, exchange it for some real interaction. Real-life engagements are critical to mental wellness and cannot be substituted through an app.
- Don’t Multitask: If you’re proud of juggling multiple tasks, make sure one of them isn’t checking your phone. Turn off all unneeded screens when working, anything extra is purely a distraction.
- Track Your Screen time: Many electronics, especially new phones, have an array of screen time tracking software. Turn these on and see what happens. If the results point to excessive use, either use those apps less or don’t use them at all.
- Turn off Unneeded Notifications: That excess buzzing and chiming in your pocket does little to keep you focused throughout the day; if anything, it distracts you. While there are good excuses for leaving some notifications on, anything deemed unimportant should be left off. This will help decrease the amount of times you check your phone daily and keep your focus to the task at hand.
- Buy a Real Alarm Clock: Using your phone to wake up is a great way to get out of bed later than anticipated. After replacing with a real alarm, either leave your phone out of arms reach or in another room – this will significantly help reduce the urge to use your phone after waking up.
- Use Your Own Eyes: If you’ve been to a concert in the last decade, it’s hard not to notice the plethora of phones floating in the air. Surprisingly, using your phone to take excessive amounts of photos is linked to poor memory retention. Multiple studies point to more detailed memories in people who had experiences without the use of a phone. Stop looking through your screen – live in the moment!