Do you wish to spend less time on your phone and have more time in the day to do the things you love? In this blog post, we’ll explore practical tips and strategies for spending less time on your phone so you can reclaim your time and focus on what matters most to you. Whether you’re looking to break a phone addiction or simply want to use your device more mindfully, this post has something for you. Let’s get started!
If you’ve been thinking: ”I spend too much time on my phone…”
You’re not alone, we’ve all been guilty of it at some point in our lives.
Smartphones are not all that terrible. They connect us to friends; let us keep up with the latest news; purchase products and get them delivered right to our door; check the weather; inspire us with new recipes and the list goes on.
All that aside, we often end up wasting a lot more time on these devices than we intended to. A study has found that parents spend only 24 minutes more with their kids than they do on their phones. Just think about it, parents spend almost as much one-on-one time with their devices as they do quality time with their children.
More often than usual we use our smartphones as pacifiers. They keep us ”busy” without actually being ”busy”. Yet, we keep complaining about not having enough time to do things we would like.
How is your frequent phone usage affecting your child?
Feelings of unimportance: have you ever sat with your spouse having a conversation that’s important to you but then he got distracted by his phone? How did it make you feel? Children crave to be seen and heard by their parents. And while we can not give our full attention to them at all times as we all have tons of other responsibilities and jobs, frequently ignoring your children for your phone, can cause them feeling unimportant.
I remember my child coming home, telling me about his friend, who said: ”I wish I was a phone, my parents would hold me all the time”. It really made me rethink my smartphone habits.
Less quality time spent together: sometimes quality time needs planning and it most definitely always needs present you. But if you’re too busy checking out your friends lives, then most likely you’re ruining that precious time with your children. Spend less time on your phone to have quality time as a family that will build strong bonds between you.
Impatient and irritable you: you’re on the phone, scrolling, not doing anything important. But something on that newsfeed catches your full attention and now you’re really into it. Your child comes into the room with tons of questions, and you can’t finish watching that video. You give your child short and abrupt answers, but it doesn’t seem to help, and he keeps talking. Now you feel yourself getting impatient and irritated. Sounds familiar?
Even when you’re at your best, it’s hard to pay full attention to a 5-year-old’s sentences that seem never-ending. The challenge is even greater when your brain is engaged in something ”fun”.
Following your example: if your child feels like you’re not paying any attention to him now and he sees staying on the phone as a way of spending time when bored instead of doing something else, it’s likely he will do the same once he has his own phone.
Why should you spend less time on your phone?
More time to connect with family: avoid using your phone too much if you want to connect with your family. Putting the phone away means you’re not only physically present but you’re also an emotionally available spouse, parent, and daughter.
More time to focus on what’s important: whether you’ve promised yourself to exercise, start a business from home or be more present with your children. None of it is possible if you can’t get off your phone.
Better mental health: constantly looking at other people’s lives on Instagram and Facebook is bad for your mental health. Most of the time people will only show you the good parts of their lives and hide the terrible stuff. This might make you become unappreciative of what you have and make you unhappy.
How to spend less time on your phone?
1. Determine your reasons and set your goals
Reading an inspirational blog post on why pro-longed screen time is bad for you, might be good for short-lived motivation. However, if you’re looking to ditch your unhealthy phone habit and spend less time on it long-term, you’ll need a good reason as to why you’re doing it.
Before you start working towards reducing your phone usage, it’s important to know your reasons for wanting to do so. Do you want to be more present with your children? Do you want to make more time for other activities and hobbies? Understanding your reasons can help you stay focused and motivated as you work towards your goals.
2. Turn off notifications
Turn off those social media notifications. The ability to connect with friends wherever they might be is amazing. However, if it’s constantly disturbing your time spent with people who are next you or prevents you from completing day’s tasks, there’s a problem.
Seeing a constant stream of notifications can be distracting and disrupt your focus, leading you to pick up your phone more often than you need to. By turning off non-essential notifications, you can eliminate this distraction and reclaim your attention.
To turn off notifications on an iPhone, go to “Settings,” then “Notifications,” and select which apps you’d like to receive notifications from. On an Android phone, go to “Settings,” then “Apps & notifications,” and choose which apps you’d like to receive notifications from. You can also customize the types of notifications you receive and how they are displayed on your lock screen. By taking control of your notifications, you can reduce distractions and spend less time on your phone.
3. Delete unnecessary apps
Think about apps that waste most of your time and get rid of them.
Tip: It doesn’t mean you have to delete your account too. I get it, social media platforms can be useful: recipes, ideas, connecting with friends who’ve moved to live somewhere else. You can still access these platforms on your web browser without having an app. However, you having to go to your browser, type an address and the login details will prevent you from using a certain platform as often as you do when you have an app.
4. Lock your phone in a cell phone lock box
If you still mindlessly scroll and waste time on your phone, consider locking it in a cell phone lock box, that has a timer. Set the time you want to spend with your children or working on something that matters and lock your phone in. It still allows you to take phone calls or make them in a case of an emergency.
For uninterrupted, family-quality time or phone-free evenings for everyone in the house, use a time-locking container to lock several phones at a time.
5. Do all the other things you know you’re supposed to do but haven’t yet
Realize that after all, you have a choice. You can either sit and scroll for another half an hour or get up and do something productive. As grown-ups, we no longer have parents come and tell us what needs to be done. So if you’re serious about achieving your goals and getting things done, you’ll have to push your own self.