Was one of your resolutions this year to be more present? Maybe you have an iPhone that sends you weekly reports of your usage and notice it keeps rising, or you’re spending lots of time glued to your computer. However you are spending time on screen, we can all benefit from curbing our time with devices. Plus, reducing time fixated on your screens has loads of benefits! Today, I’m walking you through 9 ways to limit screentime and improve how you use.
Ways to Limit
Before Bedtime to Improve Sleep Quality
Try to put the phone and computer away at least 30 minutes before heading to bed. This will help reduce eye strain as well as reduce mental stimulation to get ready for sleep. Additionally, avoiding your phone first thing is also beneficial for the eyes and mind. Allow yourself to fully wake up before scrolling. Try charging your phone in another room and getting an alarm clock to reduce temptation!
While Eating to Improve Digestion
Did you know when you are scrolling or watching TV while eating your more likely to overeat? Set the phone down come mealtime and focus on each bite. Not only will you thoroughly enjoy your meal, you will be less tempted to mindlessly keep snacking. You don’t have to eat in complete silence – engage in a conversation with the person you’re eating with or listen to music or a podcast. Light a candle and drop into the moment!
When in the Bathroom to Improve… Efficiency? (ha!)
Let’s be honest here – we all have taken our phones with us to potty and end up staying in there longer than needed. Leave the phone out of the bathroom to get in and out. Plus… germs, right?! Okay, moving on!
With Others to Improve Presence
We love a good photo with friends and family when getting together. But that doesn’t mean to be on your phone the whole time. Avoid posting in the moment and be present with your loved ones. Get the pic and share later if you want! People want to spend time with *you*, not you on your phone, so give them your full attention.
While Getting Ready to Improve Punctuality
I have an electric toothbrush that buzzes every 30 seconds to switch which quadrant of your mouth you’re brushing, and lately, I’ve been finding myself distracted from this process by scrolling on my phone. Sometimes I like to have a show playing in the background, and before I know it, I’m paying more attention to that than putting my makeup on. If any of this also rings true to you, try putting it all away and focus on getting yourself together and out the door!
When using, keep in mind…
Your Body’s Positioning
While on your screen, are you getting text neck? As in, is your head looking down, chin to chest? Try bringing your device close to eye level. If at a desk, get a stand for your laptop or monitor. If lounging, prop the device on a pillow or hold it up. These small adjustments can help reduce pain and achiness in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. When you feel yourself getting tense in these areas, here is a great, quick video to help!
I’ve written about phone usage in general before, right around the time Apple came out with a tracker for app usage. What’s cool about iPhone’s tracking is you can set a time limit for your apps, which is especially handy for time consuming apps, like social media or games. If you don’t have an iPhone, there’s an app for that! 😉 Try the “Digital Wellbeing” app by Google.
How You’re Feeling
When I’m feeling low, I have a tendency to reach for my phone, which unfortunately can bring me down even more. I know I’m not alone in that, either! Heading to the screen for a pick-me-up can work if you’re throwing on your favorite sitcom or funny film, but likely will have the opposite effect if you’re going to Instagram. If you’re in a bit of a funk, perhaps opt for something that will lift you up like calling a person you trust, writing in a journal, reading a novel, going on a walk, cuddling with a pet. Then you can catch up on your social media once you feel a bit more yourself.
A couple years ago, I got my first pair of glasses (just readers), and they also combined the prescription with blue light blocking. Essentially, this means it makes screens easier for your eyes to look at for long periods of time. I wear them more often than not and have found them to be really helpful. If you spend a lot of your day on the computer or phone, these may help you, too!
Phones, tablets, computers, and TVs are not inherently bad or something to avoid completely, by any means. They can be really valuable sources of entertainment, connection, and education. What is important is to take a good look at our relationship and dependence on them. Even pulling one or two things off this list can help put all these devices into perspective!
Have any tips of your own? Share them below!