Something I consistently struggle with is the constant need to check my phone. I feel like I might miss something important on social media or forget to respond to a text, so I constantly pick up my phone to check. With social media and apps like YouTube and Netflix being so readily available on our phones, it’s easy to get trapped and forget about the rest of the world around you. My screen time has only seemed to increase in recent months, especially because of COVID-19 measures that require us to stay indoors. Although screen time can still be a big issue for me, I’ve found a couple of ways to minimize my screen time throughout the day which have also helped with my mental health and productivity.
Minimizing your screen time can have so many benefits; I found that when I really committed by limiting my screen time, I felt more productive and less groggy throughout the day. I also don’t have as much of an urge to pick up my phone and check out social media now compared to a couple of months ago. During the fall semester, I would sometimes find myself getting bored during classes or doing schoolwork, and I would naturally gravitate towards my phone. My screen time average was extremely high during the fall semester simply because I did nothing to limit my screen time after a long summer of staring at my phone all day. The habits that I adopted during the summer just followed through into the fall, and I found my screen time started to impact my schoolwork. I’ve also found that, in general, I feel happier when I average less screen time. It might have to do with not being on social media or not seeing as much negativity online, but I’ve found that I’m happier on days that I don’t look at my phone as much. From my experiences with limiting my screen time, I think it helps with overall productivity and happiness. I recommend it if you’re struggling with school or don’t feel very productive or happy, as I’ve noticed a huge difference ever since I took control of it.
Lowering your screen time has a bunch of benefits, but you may be asking “well, how do I get started?” It’s difficult trying to stick to your routine once you’ve started implementing things to help. I struggled with it because I would constantly revert to my old habits, but then my inner voice finally kicked in.
Some ways that I was able to tackle my screen time was by setting timers on my most frequently used apps. On my phone, there is a screen time section in the settings, and it allows you to set a time limit for a bunch of different apps. I currently have all my social media apps grouped together and only allow myself one hour on all of them per day. I’ve found that this has really helped me out to stay off social media throughout the day. Another way to limit screen time and minimize distractions while working is by putting your phone in another room or hiding it somewhere. You can also hand it off to a roommate or family member and have them keep it until all your tasks are complete. The more often you do this, the less likely you will have urges to check on your phone while doing work or schoolwork. I’ve found that this really helps me out! One last tip and trick that I’ve recently started is using blue light glasses. These are AMAZING and have helped me out so much. Obviously limiting your screen time on your phone is one thing, but online school has made limiting screen time on your computer or laptop so much more difficult. Everyone is going to have a different opinion on blue light glasses and their effects, but in my opinion, I find that they help so much.
Limiting your screen time can be difficult and frustrating, especially if you’re someone who is addicted to their phone like I used to be. But limiting screen time is just one way of helping your mental health and your schoolwork. Trying out any of these tips may help you out in ways that you never thought they could. If you’re stressed or struggling with anything in your life, limiting your screen time is just one small thing you can do that may have big impacts.