If you’re aware that you are spending too much time staring at your smartphone screen, you’re probably always on the lookout for tips that can help you reduce your screen time and create a healthier relationship with your mobile device. Here are a few steps to consider.
Think about how you use your phone
Start by taking a good look at how you use your phone. See how it makes you feel and what you’re thinking before and after you use it. Are you with people or alone? What are you also doing when you reach for your phone? What do you use the phone for? Is it for talking to loved ones, scrolling social media, or playing games? If you notice that you’re using your phone more than you thought, don’t worry as you’re not alone. The need to always be connected is seen as the biggest addiction of the 21st century as many people cannot stay away from their smartphones. Fortunately, there are ways how you can work on creating a better relationship with your phone.
Set a lock screen that will remind you to stay away
Something you can do to stay away from your phone is set a lock or home screen that will inspire you to put it down. Try some messages like “Stay away”, “Put me down”, “Read a book”, “Go outside”, and so on. These can help you outsmart the need for using the smartphone.
Consider uninstalling certain apps
If your lock and home screen are not enough to deter you, you should also think about uninstalling certain apps. By making your phone boring, so to speak, you will be less likely to use it. Start by deleting social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Endless scrolling and being exposed to bad news and negativity are never good for your mental health, so consider only using these on your desktop. The same goes for video games – the fewer you have installed, the less time you will spend on your phone.
Charge your phone away from you
Where you charge your phone also plays a role in your addiction. For example, if you charge it next to your bed, you’ll be more likely to pick it up before you fall asleep and start scrolling. Don’t keep it charging overnight next to you. Instead of using it as an alarm, get a regular clock to wake you up in the morning. Even when relaxing, don’t keep it next to you. That way, it won’t always be in your hands.
Create no-phone times and zones
In addition to not charging your phone next to the bed, you should also introduce some other zones where phones are a no-go. Besides the bedroom, forbid smartphones in the bathroom as well. Many people tend to play games or mindlessly scroll social media for way too long. You can also have no-phone times, so, for example, don’t use it before 9 am or after 8 pm. Figure out a schedule that works for you. Turn off notifications for these specific time intervals and don’t react to anything phone-related. Watch a movie, read a book, or go for a walk instead.
Develop other hobbies
Some people have the need to always have something in their hands. A simple solution for this that doesn’t include phones is developing different hobbies. From reading books to painting and sculpting all the way to knitting and crocheting, there are countless things you can do to take your mind away from your phone and not feel bored. Just think of some activities that will make you feel fulfilled.
Do a monthly review
Finally, stay on top of how much you use your phone. Some developers include apps like these on the phone while there are others that you can download later on. They will allow you to see how many times you’ve unlocked your phone, how many hours a day you used it, which apps took up most of your time, and so on. Readjust your approach if you see that you’re using it more than you wanted as there are also apps that block your phone and prevent you from using it.
Realizing that you’ve been using your phone too much is the first step to a healthier relationship with it. Take these steps to lower your phone usage and use it only when necessary.