How To Reduce Your Screen Time

Let’s face it – we’re all a little guilty of spending too much time in front of a screen. From televisions to tablets, to phones, to computers, it’s so easy to waste hours on technology without even realizing it. Especially in university culture, where both school and home life revolve around the use of technology, it can be difficult to look up every once in a while. Whether we’re taking notes in a lecture or inviting friends to an event on Facebook, we’re dependent on these screens to keep up with everything going on in our lives.

A few months ago, I found that I was spending more time on screens than I wanted to. While I was fine with using my phone and laptop for school purposes, I felt that I was pointlessly procrastinating in between. In order to combat this, I started taking a few steps to reduce my screen time.

Delete Unnecessary Social Media

Before my screen intervention, I was regularly using Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. After some consideration, I decided to delete my Snapchat. Sending snaps to my friends to merely keep up “streaks” seemed illogical and time-wasting. I realized that there were so many better ways to fill my day. Moreover, I stopped constantly checking Instagram and Facebook. I finally understood that nothing will likely change in the 0.2 seconds between refreshes. Since doing these things, I haven’t had nearly as many reasons to be on my phone.

Separate Sleep and Technology

I’ll be the first to admit that I used to go to bed with my phone under my pillow and my laptop by my side. I’ve since taken a simple step that has not only reduced my screen time, but also improved my sleep. I now put my laptop on my desk (where it should be) and I plug my phone into an outlet across the room. This way, there’s no temptation to reach over grab either of them when I’m about to go to sleep. Additionally, I try to stay off my screens about 30 minutes to an hour before I plan to go to bed. By doing this, I’ve been able to read a book a week, and my quality of sleep has improved dramatically.

Eat Without Technology

Whether I was out or at home, I had a habit of entertaining myself with technology while eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. I began intentionally turning off my phone and laptop during meal times. Now, I fill my time by talking to my housemates or eating in silence – no matter what, these tricks allow me to slow down and enjoy my meal. When out with friends, we all try to put our phones in the middle of the table in order to focus on each other.

Overall, I hope these tips help you cut down your screen time. Incorporating small changes like these into your life can substantially improve your wellness and mental health. While your life may be run by technology, I hope this serves as a reminder that technology does not have to run your life. Shut off your screen every once in a while – the world is vast and there’s so much to explore.