Bad for eyes, bad for mood and bad for the head, but can’t stop using even when it’s time for bed.
Smartphone addiction is very real and might cause us to lose a few of our brain cells (and can we really afford that?), but it doesn’t have to be this way at all! Even if you’re looking at screens for 14 out of the 16 hours you’re up, our easy to follow tips will be sure to have your back in fighting this energy draining addiction so that you can be your best self!
Set an intention
The first thing to do, quite obviously, is deciding you want to spend less time on screens. As easy as it may sound, the hardest part is always showing up. So make your mind to actively spend lesser time on screens, and you’re halfway there!
Track your phone activity
You might think you spent only two, but in reality, you would have spent around 5. This is the exact reason you should get a time-tracking app on your phone that monitors your activity and brings you back to earth!
Use the inbuilt focus mode on your phone, or get an app for it!
Total focus goes a long way, and the more you practice it, the better you get. If your phone has a focus mode, turn it on while studying or working and block all the distracting apps. If you don’t, you can easy find many apps like ‘Forest’ that encourage you to focus and block useless notifications for a chosen duration.
Keep out of reach
The closer you keep your phone or computer to yourself, the more you’re gonna use them. Devices that are constantly in our sight will be turned on way more often than the devices we can’t see, so keep your phone in a cabinet or drawer and only take it out when you absolutely must. Do the same with your laptop. And if you can’t shut your computer in a closet, let it stay where it is and just leave the room.
If you have a few extra bucks to spare, buy a cheap non-smart phone
To justify our constant phone-checking, we often reason, “Oh, but I have to check it, because what if there’s an emergency and someone is trying to contact me?”
We’re giving you an easy-peasy solution to this problem. Buy yourself an extra, just-for-emergencies basic mobile phone, and keep it on you whenever you’re not using your smartphone. Share this phone number with your close friends and family members, so that they can still reach you in case of emergencies. Basic call and messaging is all you need in this phone, so it won’t be a huge investment, but will surely come in handy and cut your excuses.
Call, instead of texting
Now we know that calling can be very anxiety-inducing for some of us, but it is so much better than constantly looking at your screen, waiting for the other person’s responde, and then typing your own. A topic that needs only 10 minutes of attention can stretch upto an hour while texting. Therefore, set a time with your friends/family members/ colleagues and talk on the phone. If you’re hard of hearing, deaf, or have extreme social anxiety and it is almost impossible for you to attend calls, set a time to chat where both the parties can focus on the conversation.
If you’re overdoing social media…
Turn off notifications or, if you can, uninstall social media for a few days. You’ll have an itch at first, of course, but don’t give in! Keep it up for a few days and you will successfully break the constantly-checking cycle. Once it becomes a habit to not use social media much, you can install it again, but make sure you’re in a healthy place where you don’t feel the need to be there every hour!
That charging point near your bed…
Don’t use it! We repeat, do not use it! Chances are, you’re going to start tapping as soon as you put your phone to charge, so charge your device in another room at night. This will also ensure a sleep undisturbed by constant notification sounds.
Limit TV time
So Comedy Central is airing binge reruns of your favourite sitcom, and why should you not watch a show if it’s light-hearted and funny? Because you are trying to limit screen time, remember? Set a time limit on your TV time (1 hour a day, max) and, as a rule, do not watch TV in bed, with snacks! It all feels cozy and tasty and comfy, and you lose track of time very soon. Be disciplined in this regard and you’ll get habitual in a few days.
If looking at screens is how you make those monies…
Well, then limit your off-hours screen time. If you have to look at your computer for 8 hours every day, make sure to spend only 1 extra hour looking at screens(that too, if you absolutely need to!).
Do other things
The options are endless. Because of all the time we spend looking at screens, we lose our ‘touch’ that makes us, us. If you have a hobby and want to restart with it, THIS IS DA TIME! And if you don’t, that’s not a problem. Just look for something you think you might enjoy, and start with it. It could be something as simple as reading a book, gardening, painting, writing, cooking or just about anything that does not involve a screen.
And lastly, love your life IRL ☺
If you like what you have in real life, you’ll neither feel the constant need to escape by watching TV or playing games, nor the urge to have a super-active virtual life. It all starts from within, so do the work you need in order to like your life.
Have any tips you think should be on our list? Share with us!
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