It seems that nowadays we are more attached to our phones than our family and friends. Whenever I go out, either alone or with a company, our phones are always accompanying us – hiding in our pockets, glued to our hands or even on the table while we’re eating. Several studies have estimated that the average person spends at least 120 minutes on their phone daily. You might think it’s not a lot of time, considering how hectic and stressful our lives are but those minutes are solely devoted to checking Social Media. Those are some horrific numbers! If you think about it, those 2 hours might have been your only free time throughout the day and you’ve decided to spend it checking out what your friends have been eating for breakfast. You could have gone for a walk, read a book, learned something new or sweat it at the gym. Unsurprisingly though, you couldn’t be bothered because you’ve worked all day and you thought you deserved to calm you FOMO symptoms down.
If this situation suits you, you are happy with your current lifestyle and you don’t want to spend less time on your phone, then off you go – you don’t need to read this blog post. Howbeit, if you think that your phone usage is consuming far too much of your time and is exhausting you, mentally and physically, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll present you with 6 tried and tested ways to spend less time on your phone.
Determine How Much Time You Spend On Your Phone
First things first, you need to determine how much time you spend on your phone daily. It might be the average – 2 hours – but you could be spending less or more than that. It’s also very important to establish how you’re distributing that time. Is it just Social Media or are you also doing work-related tasks – emails, calls, research, etc? Thankfully, you won’t have to keep a diary with time logs of every time you’ve decided to pick up your phone. Modern technology has given humanity the gift of apps! Nowadays, there’s an application for everything. And yes, there is an app to track how much time you spend on your phone. Moment, App Usage and Checky are one of the best out there. Just go to your app store and download one of these apps today. That’s the first step to spending less time on your phone.
Set Yourself A Time Limit
Once you’ve determined how much time you spend on your phone daily, you can set yourself a time limit. Setting a time limit is another way to help you spend less time on your phone. If you usually waste an hour or two on Social Media, then allocate half of that time to browse through your favourite apps. Setting a time limit will make you more aware of the present. Hopefully, you’ll also feel better mentally and physically in the long term. Personally, I find myself with a throbbing headache if I scroll continuously for more than 10min on Instagram. What’s worse, every now and then I feel extremely miserable and anxious as a result of the unrealistic lifestyles that most of the people out there are trying to demonstrate.
Give Yourself A Break Every 20 Minutes
On the other hand, you might be using your phone so much for a good reason. If you’re one of those extremely busy people, always on the go and living an overall fast-paced life, then your phone is your work. In this case, you’re not left with a lot of options but to keep your telephone within a hand’s reach. However, you could do yourself a favour and let go of it every 20 minutes or so. Your brain, eyes and overall health will thank you. It might sound trivial but use the time to relax, even if it is just for 5 or 10 minutes. I’ve heard mindfulness is very modern these days, maybe you can give it a go. It doesn’t help me, but it might help you. You’ll never know until you try, right? So, this is would be your third out of six ways to spend less time on your phone.
Delete Your Social Media Apps
Yes, this is an extreme measure, maybe a step too far for some, but hear me out. If you’re already spending above the average of 2 hours on Social Media, then you have a problem. Maybe it’s not as serious as a drug or alcohol addiction, yet it’s still an issue that should be more discussed. I think this calls for a little story time. A long time ago (maybe 3 or 4 years ago now), I used to be one of the 2.23 billion people with a Facebook account. I was a very active user at the time – liking, sharing, posting and commenting frequently. I used to spend hours on Facebook and it wasn’t a pleasurable experience. People were sharing nonsense and everyone were very opinionated. For what’s worse, they were acting like they were experts in every single field out there. And I was no exception!
I soon realised that Facebook was making me truly unhappy. I didn’t want to see where my friends are, what they are eating or what song they’ve shared. Reading another post on how to live a healthy lifestyle from a person who looked no better than your average Joe and hasn’t had a single health issue was unbearable. Before you jump on my throat, let me be clear. What I was feeling wasn’t jealousy, it was something else – I felt poisoned. I knew my problem wasn’t with Facebook itself, rather than the people on it – they were toxic! At the time I was going through a lot and I didn’t need that feeling, so I deactivated my account. I thought I would give myself a little break, maybe a month or two. However, those few months turned into a year, and that year into two and now three. Nowadays, I only have a Facebook Page for my blog for the sole purpose of sharing my posts. I don’t feel the need to spend time on it and I don’t miss it, especially with the recent scandals surrounding the app.
So, what have you learned from my little story? If there is an app that’s causing more harm than good to you, just delete it! Deactivate and delete your Social Media account, that would be your next extreme but positive step to ensure you spend less time on your phone.
Log Out Of Your Accounts
If deactivating and deleting your favourite Social Media application sounds like an unthinkable solution to your phone usage problems, then why don’t you try logging out of the app? Log out and don’t save your username and password for an easier access the next time you want to log in. That way, every single time you want to log onto Instagram, Facebook or wherever, you’ll have to type in your long email address/username and far too lengthy password – probably consisting of random letters and numbers. This is one of my favourite ways to spend less time on your phone. I use this step for my Instagram account whenever I catch myself spending far too much time on it. Trust me, it works! I can’t count the times when I’ve used lower instead of uppercase letters and it got me so annoyed that I just couldn’t be bothered to use the darn app. Just try it and let me know in the comments below how it turned out for you.
Turn Off Notifications
This is your last resort in terms of spending less time on your phone, folks! If you’re not willing to try any of the other ways mentioned in this post, then try this one. Turn off your notifications! Social Media, emails and any other notifications you might receive from your apps. If you’re needed or there’s something urgent to deal with, let people call you or at least text you! Nowadays, we rely far too much on apps and emails to communicate and deliver information. We’ve lost the ability to really communicate and that’s sad. Whenever the phone rings we look at it like it’s a hot potato or a time bomb. ‘Who’s calling?’, ‘Why are they calling me?’, ‘Is this PPi again?’ – well, most of the time it is PPI, nevertheless, there are numerous thoughts going through our minds instead of picking up the phone!
I feel like we can digest this topic a lot more, but for now, these are just some of the few ways you can use today in order to spend less time on your phone.
- Have you or are you willing to try any of the above?
- How do you spend less time on your phone?