16 Super-Easy Ways To Cut Down On Screen Time
Put your phone down...after you finish reading this list.
By now you've probably heard that staring at a screen all day isn't the
best thing for your health.
You probably also know that it takes more than simple self-control to put down your devices.
If you've tried everything to kick your screen habit but still haven't found something that sticks, look no further! Here are 16 simple and practical ways to end your unhealthy relationship with electronics:
Keep track of how much time you're spending on your phone...
Is it easy to stay blissfully unaware of exactly how much time you spend on your phone? Yes — but luckily it's just as easy to track it! If you have an iPhone with iOS 12, all you have to do is turn on the Screen Time function in the Settings app. If you're on an Android or something, the
Digital Wellbeing app has a similar function and is available on the Google Play store.
...and then actually set usage limits.
If seeing the reality of your screen time isn't enough, you can also set a time limit for your actual usage. Many apps will allow you override your limit if you want, which allows you to be in the know about your usage, while also giving you the freedom to change things up as you see fit! On an iPhone, simply go to Screen Time under Settings and set app limits. If you're using Digital Wellbeing, go to Settings and click on Usage. You can then set a timer for each app!
Watching TV before bed is fine, but make sure you're not doing it IN bed.
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How many times have you gotten all cozy in bed with Netflix and gone from watching two episodes of your favorite show to finishing the entire series? This
negatively affects your sleep schedule AND significantly increases the time you're in front of a screen. Instead, try watching in another area — like the living room — where you actually have to shut it down and walk away before you can crawl under the covers.
Notifications are DISTRACTING. They tempt you to get on your phone or computer, and before you know it, minutes have turned into hours. Disable notifications in your phone's settings to keep your homescreen nice and clean.
Or delete social media apps altogether.
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The best way to make sure social media isn't a distraction is to get rid of it! You can still check occasionally on a computer, and you can obviously put it back on your phone whenever you want, but this makes it more difficult to get sucked into endless tapping and scrolling.
Don't take electronics into the bathroom.
Realistically, how long are you planning on being in the bathroom? More likely than not, it's less than 10 minutes, so you won't exactly be missing much while you're gone. Also,
cellphones are actually dirtier than the average toilet seat because people take them with them into the bathroom, so maybe it's for the best!
Turn off the TV when you're not actually watching it.
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We all do it: We finish watching our favorite show and then flip mindlessly through the channels, hoping to find something else that catches our eye. If you want to make sure TV doesn't take over your night, turn it off immediately.
Remove chargers from the bedroom.
It's probably unreasonable to say that ALL of your electronics should be banned from the bedroom, but this tip makes sure you're using them strategically! For example, if you need your phone for an alarm clock, make sure there's enough battery left to last through the night.
Invest in an actual alarm clock.
Instead of using your cellphone as an alarm clock, which requires you to keep your phone in the bedroom, use an actual alarm clock to get you up in the morning!
Take your work email off of your phone.
It can be tempting to constantly check your inbox, but doing so can become an obsessive habit that amounts to excessive time in front of a screen. Work can wait until you get into the office in the morning! At the very least, it doesn't need to be a part of ALL of your devices.
Get a library card instead of reading on your phone.
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Reading is a great hobby that stimulates your mind, so why make it harder on your eyes by staring at a tiny screen? Head to the library and sign up for a library card instead! It's literally FREE.
Avoid eating in front of a screen.
And if you're trying to limit your kids' screen time...
Designate screen-free zones.
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Establish zones in your home where electronics are not allowed. A good place to start is the dining room and bedroom.
Log screen time versus active time.
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A screen and activity time log is a great way to see just how much time your child is spending in front of a TV compared to their time being up and active. If you want to kick it up a notch, you can set a goal of getting equal parts screen time and active time each week. Here's a
log for reference!
And finally, establish a clear routine.
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Allow kids in front of a screen only at certain times of the day. Maybe your child is allowed to watch TV only after dinner or can play video games for only an hour on the weekends. Whatever it is, make sure they know their limits. You can set a timer to reinforce the routine!
Have you had any success reducing your screen time? Let us know what worked for you in the comments below!
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