7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Screen Time

7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Screen Time

If you feel that your screen time is getting out of hand, you’re not alone. In this modern world, technology is a big (and often essential) part of daily life, especially for freelancers.

Despite the many benefits of technology, like the internet and social media, it can also negatively impact your mental and physical health. Excessive screen time can cause vision issues, trouble with sleeping, and even depression.

In this blog post, we’ll give you seven tips to spend less time in front of screens:

  1. Track your screen time and habits
  2. Limit your number of screens
  3. Make your phone less appealing
  4. Schedule screen-free breaks
  5. Skip the screen and go old school
  6. Set clear work boundaries
  7. Switch off before bed

Read on to find out more.

Is Too Much Screen Time Bad for You?

Numerous studies have shown that too much screen time can have adverse health effects, especially in children and younger people. Some of the potential negative side effects include:

How Much Screen Time Is Too Much?

While there are clear guidelines about how much screen time young people should have, it isn’t as easy to define for adults. 

According to an article published by Time Magazine, experts struggle to agree on how much is too much because screens are often essential for many people’s jobs. 

One suggestion is that hours spent in front of a screen may not be the most important factor. Instead, what should be considered is the type of content being viewed.

Social media sites have proven to be the most troublesome type of content, with one psychological study finding that time spent on these sites should be limited to 30–60 minutes per day.

If you are unsure whether you’re spending an unhealthy amount of time in front of a screen, there are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. How are your eating habits?
  2. Are you sleeping okay?
  3. How often do you leave your house and socialize?
  4. Do you get any physical exercise?

If you find that you’re not happy with the answers to any of these questions, you may want to reevaluate how much time you’re spending in front of a screen.

How to Reduce Your Screen Time

1. Track Your Screen Time and Habits

Getting an idea of how much time you spend looking at screens and what activities you do in that time can help you work out where to cut down.

Try tracking your daily screen time using an app such as Digital Wellbeing or memtime. Then, work out how much of that time is spent:

● Doing work-related activities

● Performing other essential tasks (e.g., banking, school or coursework or schedule planning)

● Browsing the internet and using social media

● Doing fun or leisure activities (e.g., watching movies and playing games)

If you find you’re spending more time than necessary on non-essential tasks, try setting usage limits. You might even want to delete some particularly distracting apps.

2. Limit Your Number of Screens

Looking at more than one screen at a time can overstimulate your brain and increase the negative effects of excess screen time.

So, even though it might be tempting to scroll through your phone while watching TV or working on your computer, try and limit yourself to one screen where possible.

If using multiple screens is a regular habit, you might want to physically move devices away from each other or keep them in separate rooms to curb the urge.

3. Make Your Phone Less Appealing

Phones and other devices are powerful distractions that engage our brains and provide a dopamine hit.

To reduce the time you spend looking at your phone screen, try making it less appealing by switching it to grayscale, lowering the brightness, or setting it to silent.

You can also take your mind off your phone by using your other senses, like smell and touch. Try lighting scented candles or bringing fidget toys into your workspace.

4. Schedule Screen-Free Breaks

You can reduce your screen time by introducing regular breaks on work days and longer screen breaks on your days off.

If you’re working, set yourself an alarm roughly every 30 minutes to take a screen break. This means all screens; taking a break from your computer to look at your phone doesn’t count.

Spend your time off work doing activities that don’t involve a screen at all, such as:

● Reading

● Cooking

● Cleaning

● Spending time outside

● Spending time with friends or family

● Creating art

● Exercising

That last point is especially important because it can be difficult to stay active while working from home.

5. Skip the Screen and Go Old School

While most work nowadays is done on a computer or another device, that doesn’t mean every task requires a screen.

A Zoom meeting could work just as well as a phone call, and a good old-fashioned pen and paper are just as good for taking notes and planning out ideas as your device’s word processor or notes app.

You can find many physical diaries and planners to suit your requirements, and if you want to try something a little more in-depth, bullet journaling can be a handy hobby and planning tool.

6. Set Clear Work Boundaries

One of the effects of scope creep is that the more your work time creeps into your spare time, the more your screen time will increase.

To avoid this, make sure you:

●  Set yourself fixed working hours each day.

●  Make sure your clients and colleagues are aware of those hours.

●  Turn off work-related notifications outside of your work hours.

What’s more, having clear work boundaries can also help you maintain a better work–life balance and avoid burnout.

7. Switch Off Before Bed

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of staying healthy and productive, but studies show that staring at your phone or computer screen before bed can:

  1. Make it harder for you to fall asleep, and
  2. Reduce the quality of sleep you do get

So, to keep yourself happy and healthy, make sure to quit scrolling at least an hour before you turn in for the night.

You can set alarms to mark an end to screen time and help train this habit, or even make your bedroom and bathroom device-free areas by removing chargers, devices, and TVs.

Ultimately, the most important thing is not to be too hard on yourself about your screen time. Even if you can only use one or two of these tips, any changes you make could have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.

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