We hear a lot about screen time and the importance of managing time spent with our phones and tablets. You might have some guidelines in place for your kids’ screen time, but what about your own?
Here are a few tips on how to manage your own screen time (and set a good example):
1. Create screen limits or designate device-free zones.
Setting limits is an excellent place to start managing your own screen time. Fortunately, screen or app limits are now part of most phone software as phones have evolved. However, if your phone or device doesn’t have this as a built-in feature, there are plenty of apps that will help you create limits and use certain apps less often throughout the day.
In addition to setting screen limits on your devices, it’s also helpful to designate device or screen-free zones. For example, if you have a habit of scrolling before bed, you might consider making your bedroom a screen-free zone.
2. Put your phone in a different room.
Do you ever pick up your phone and just start scrolling? If you have a tough time putting your phone down (and keeping it out of your hands), try removing the temptation altogether and put your phone in a different room.
It’s easier to focus without your phone sitting right next to you. So even a 20–30-minute break from your phone could be what you need to get some quality work done during the day.
3. Turn off Wi-Fi, use airplane mode, or adjust your do not disturb settings.
Another tactic that helps manage your screen time is to manage your Wi-Fi or data settings. For example, try turning off Wi-Fi for short intervals throughout the day or using airplane mode (even when you’re not on a plane).
You can also adjust your do not disturb settings that you’re still able to receive important notifications, messages, or calls when needed.
4. Eliminate distracting apps.
If certain apps live on your device that are nearly impossible to ignore (and they don’t serve an essential role in your daily life), remove them. These apps might be games, or social media feeds that you don’t necessarily need on your phone.
Rather than trying to fight the urge to pick up your phone to check these types of apps, eliminate the distraction.
5. Find a replacement.
If you spend less time with screens, what will you do with that time? Think about some good replacements!
For example, you might start some healthy habits like journaling or meditation. Or start making a dent in that pile of books you’ve been meaning to read. Or you could head outside solo or with family to take a walk or sit in the sunshine. Enjoy the time you’ve created to unplug and give yourself a break from technology.