If you search “screen time”, almost all of the results are related to parental controls and how to implement screen time strategies for kids. Because adults aren’t guilty of too much screen time, right? A 2020 survey found that 66% of Americans over the age of 18 check their phones up to 160 times per day. Start factoring in the hours many adults spend using computers at work and you’ve got yourself a pretty significant amount of screen time. And that’s not even accounting for time spent watching tv and casual computer use. It’s no wonder the average internet user spends 6 hours and 42 minutes a day online.


Start Setting Limits Today

If you’ve found yourself reading this article, chances are you’ve had enough. It’s time to cut back. Taking breaks from the internet and your devices can improve your well-being, after all. You don’t have to go completely off-grid to reduce your technology usage. There are plenty of strategies to lessen your screen time in more effective and realistic ways. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.


General Strategies

  1. The real world takes priority – Do not use your phone or any other devices when connecting with people throughout the day. This includes when you’re with friends and family, as well as interacting with people at restaurants and stores.
  2. Can’t use what you don’t have – Keep your phone out of reach and out of sight when working or focusing on a task.
  3. Kick it old school – Keep other items handy to entertain you during commutes and times of waiting. This could be anything from books to a Rubik’s cube.
  4. It takes a village – Tell everyone about your screen time goals. Ask them to help keep you accountable if they see you getting off track.
  5. Alarm clocks still exist – Use a regular alarm clock in your bedroom instead of your phone. This will keep your phone out of arm’s reach late at night and first thing in the morning.


Device-Level Strategies

  1. Embrace the silence – Silence all notifications. We often don’t feel the need to check our phones until we’re triggered by sounds.
  2. On the clock – Utilize the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone during work hours. This will help minimize distractions.
  3. A change in appearance – Many devices have settings that will adjust the color temperature of your display throughout the day. Warmer displays at night can help you get a better night’s sleep.
  4. Use what you have – Most phones have built-in screen time features to help you set app and communication limits and monitor your usage.
  5. Say goodnight – Parent your technology and give it a bedtime. At a time of your choosing, studies suggest at least an hour before bed, put your devices away. Consider switching on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode to help remove temptations.


Email Strategies

  1. A time for everything – Set aside specific times to check and respond to emails instead of checking it over and over again throughout the day. A suggested strategy is during the first and last hour of your workday. (We understand this may not work for everyone, but maybe you can implement a similar approach.)
  2. Clear out the junk – Unsubscribe from unnecessary emails. This will help minimize the amount of time you spend going through them. Only keep what is essential and what you truly want to receive.
  3. Create time boundaries – Use automatic email replies during non-work hours and off-days to notify senders you’ll get back to them when you return to work.


App Strategies

  1. Only when you want to – Turn off app notifications and notification icons. Similar to hearing the sound of notifications, seeing them can also make us feel obligated to check the corresponding app. Check apps when you feel like it, not because it triggered you.
  2. Purge, purge, purge – Applications with feeds are designed to be addictive. Cleanse your feed so you only see the people, businesses, and things you care about. This will help minimize the content on your feed. There’s no need for endless refreshing when there’s only so much content to see.
  3. Burn it all – Remove all social media apps from your phone. This may seem extreme, but limiting your time on social media to desktop-only can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend, or maybe waste?, on these platforms.


Make It a Movement

Most of these strategies are extremely simple. But simple and easy aren’t the same thing. Implementing screen time strategies and combating pre-existing technology habits can be difficult. Invite people to join you in your digital detox. Make it fun! Make it a movement!


Streamline Your Time Online

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