There is so much scientific research to prove that we are addicted to our phones. When you think about in depth, it’s terribly sad.
I’ve been monitoring my screen time lately and have noticed that it says I spend, on average, between 2 to 4 hours on my phone. Of course, a lot of this (and I mean, a lot) goes towards my alarm ringing for 10, 20, 30 minutes at a time, and then repeating between me clicking snooze. Also, a lot goes towards Spotify, in which I’m not actually looking at my screen. Some more of it goes towards work. I use my phone for work, whether that’s taking and editing photos, replying to emails or doing a bit of Instagram marketing.
But lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of my screen time also goes to me picking up my phone during life’s natural intervals: waiting for the kettle to boil, adverts on the television, being the passenger in someone’s car. I’m letting so many sacred moments pass before me.
My challenge for April is to free myself from my phone. I’m off to a good start so I thought I’d share my tips.
Also – I’m going to pepper some photos from this month so far so you can see some favourite moments from the month so far. One benefit of the smart phone.
1. Set Up A Screen Time
On iPhones (I don’t know about other phones) you can limit your screen time in the settings app. This is by far one of my favourite additions to the iPhone. You can also see how long you spend on your phone each day, and trust me, you will be shocked.
Personally, I have my screen time limits on from 9:30pm to 9:30am which means my night time and morning routines are relatively screen free, apart from my alarm, Spotify and my notes app.
Also, I have a 1 hour time limit on social media. I couldn’t believe how fast I used that up throughout the day! The 2-5 minute scroll totally adds up. Now, I try and not check social media until around 3pm unless for work, and it’s going pretty well.
2. Start As You Mean To Go On
By this, I mean start your day as you mean to go through the rest of the day.
And by that, I mean no phones in the bedroom.
This has been a priority of mine for years. I always fail.
Right now, the only reason I have my phone in my room is because we don’t have well-located plugs, so we can’t plug our radio alarm clock in yet. As soon as my husband installs new plugs, my phone is staying out of my room!
But for the few years that I sporadically did this, it was amazing. I would wake up to radio, hearing the news, music, and comical chat – everything I could get from my phone but with no screen time.
It was super freeing and when I got up, I would get ready, have breakfast, etc, before even checking my phone. It also helped me get out of bed quicker.
If you need your phone for an alarm or whatever other reason, try at least putting your phone on the other side of the room (something I’m doing right now).
If you feel you need your phone to fall asleep or wake up in the morning, try something else. Right now, I read or do word puzzles to fall asleep, and to wake up, I write, whether that’s for work, or on my novel, or just for fun.
3. Don’t Check Your Phone Until You’ve Been Awake For A Few Hours
This goes off the back of the last point. Like I said, my screen time is on until 9:30. I wake up between 6:30 and 7:00am so for about three hours, social media is off limits. You’re not going to miss anything in that time, trust me.
4. Leave Your Phone In Another Room or a Bag
While you’re at work, or out with friends, or going for a walk, or just chilling at home, keep your phone in another room or in your bag.
Once you’ve done the social media rounds and find yourself helplessly scrolling, put it away. Otherwise, you will just waste time on it.
If you want, keep your phone on loud in case someone is trying to call you. Personally, I keep my phone on do not disturb all day but on loud. This means if someone really needs me, they can call me twice and it will come through.
Most of my friends & family know this so they won’t think I’m rejecting their call.
Of course, if my husband is out, or I’m waiting on a phone call, I will check my phone every 30-60 minutes to make sure everything is okay, or check for updates.
5. Have Set Phone Times
Something that has really changed my phone habits is having a time where I can be on my phone, guilt-free. For me, this is from about 3pm to 5pm. I finish work at 2:00-2:30 every day. After lunch, I go on my phone, post on Instagram, do a bit of marketing and updating on and off for those two hours. I’m not on my phone the whole time but it does mean that if I want to pick up my phone or keep it in my back pocket, I can.
I am a very self disciplined and committed person so having a time to go on my phone really works for me, even if the only “boss” is myself.
This won’t work for everyone, but give it a try!
After 5pm, I usually pop my phone in my bedroom or another room I’m not going to go into for the rest of the evening unless I need it for another reason.
6. Airplane Mode and Do Not Disturb
This is great if you do need your phone nearby – maybe for work or taking photos – but you don’t want to be a slave to it.
Putting it on either of these settings will totally limit the number of times you pick your phone up. You won’t get notifications on either of these settings, which will stop you from checking texts or notifications right away. Such a blessing!
7. Have Cheat Days
With all that being said, don’t get too over your head about it. It’s okay to check social media, and watch YouTube videos, and read the news, and whatever else you do on your phone. It’s okay to “waste” time somedays, as long as you’re enjoying and benefiting from that time.
It just has to be measured with how much else you could be doing, but I think the occasional afternoon scrolling through Instagram, or a train ride filled with texting your friends, or an hour trying out new apps is totally fine!
You have to know yourself and do what is best for you.
Thanks for reading & let me know how you get on 🙂 xo