Feel like your day is just a long slog of staring at screens from start to finish? Chances are it actually is. If your day is started with checking the notifications on your phone, continues with working at a monitor and you find your breaks are filled with mindless scrolling, you may start to feel like your screen time is a little out of control. If you’re one of the above who also tells their kids to get off the screens, it’s time to take a little of that advice yourself.
Most of the time, your screen time may be unavoidable, particularly if it is a large component of your workplace or the way that you perform your work. However, that doesn’t mean that some of that screen time cannot be mitigated. For example, if you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through social media on your lunch break, you could instead read a book, or disconnect yourself from a screen entirely with a walk around the block (if able to).
It might seem like a massive challenge to reduce your screen time. It does not necessarily mean that you need to make a massive, immediate change immediately, however. Starting with smaller, micro steps towards an overall goal can help break down the challenge into manageable pieces.
A critical component of this is believing that you can actuate the change in behaviour and reduce screen time. Set yourself a reasonable intention behind why you want to reduce your phone use (e.g. health and wellbeing improvement) and work out the best approach towards that.
You can start with smaller reductions, and work your way towards overall larger reductions each week. For example, you could reduce the time that you spend on your phone by 5 minutes each day, and each week add another 5 minutes per day. That could incrementally decrease your screen time in 4 weeks by up to 3 hours (maths permitting).
Create a relationship with your devices that benefits and helps you. Use your phone predominantly for work-related purposes? Set the phone to Do Not Disturb after work hours. This will help you disconnect from both work and the screen because you will not have the motivation to be checking the phone.