I am addicted to technology.
I know it’s bad, but it’s true.
It’s as if my laptop is attached to my hip and my phone to my hand… I can’t go a day without Googling something, I RUN to get the charger when my laptop threatens to shut down because it’s low on battery, I turn right around if I realize I’ve left my phone at home, and sometimes, I swear I start scrolling through Instagram before I even know what I’m doing. 🤦🏼♀️
It really is an addiction.
This thing I have with technology.
And I know I’m not the only one.
6 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME TODAY
I was super inspired to change my ways when I stumbled upon this Marie Forleo quote:
“Great things happen when you unplug from technology and plug into your real life.”
Because of it, I’ve worked extra hard to cut back on screen time and instill healthier habits and better boundaries when it comes to technology. And today, I’m sharing 6 of the most effective ways (I’ve found) to STOP technology from taking over your life.
[bctt tweet=”Addicted to technology? Here are 6 ways to cut back on screen time today!” username=”productivityzne”]
1 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME BY TURNING OFF NOTIFICATIONS
Ever since I turned off ALL notifications, I feel way less stressed, more focused, and 10x more productive. I am no longer distracted by my phone buzzing and lighting up every 5 seconds. And because I’ve turned off notifications, there’s no need to even check my phone because there are no notifications for me to look for anymore. The temptation’s completely gone!
How to Turn Notifications Off on Your iPhone or iPad:
- Open Settings from your Home screen.
- Tap Notifications.
- Select the app for which you want to turn off notifications.
- Either select the type of banner or alert you want to receive or toggle notifications off completely.
How to Turn Notifications Off on Your Mac:
- Open System Preferences.
- Click Notifications.
- Select the app for which you want to turn off notifications.
- Either select the type of banner or alert you want to receive or select none.
Pro Tip: If you still want to receive some notifications (like text messages) during non-working hours, I highly recommend turning the Do Not Disturb function on during office hours. You can set a time that you do not want to receive alerts or notifications of any kind and receive them again once time is up. You could also just turn on Airplane Mode.
Related Post: What Happened When I Took Work Email Off My Phone
2 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME BY KEEPING DEVICES IN ANOTHER ROOM
This has probably been the tip that’s been the most helpful for me. Whenever I leave my phone in another room, my focus and productivity skyrocket. During my workday, I often leave my phone in my bedroom so it’s not a distraction (or even a temptation). And I always leave my laptop in my office at the end of the day. The theory behind leaving devices in another room is that because they’re not within easy reach, you’re less likely to want to reach for them or reach for them aimlessly.
Pro Tip #1: Create a charging/corralling station for your devices (perhaps in the entryway or kitchen). Plug them in and leave them there starting at a certain time so that your evenings are spent plugged into your life instead of your device.
Pro Tip #2: If your phone is generally the last thing you look at each night and the first thing you look at each morning, it’s time to get that phone out of your bedroom! Get an alarm clock (remember those?) and set a book, journal, or Bible on your bedside table instead.
3 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME BY SETTING OFFICE HOURS + TIME LIMITS
Office hours and time limits are some of the best boundaries ever. If you haven’t set office hours yet, I suggest you set some SOON. They’re a game-changer for your productivity and focus!! While you’re at it, make it a rule to only look at your phone during breaks. (You’ll get SO MUCH MORE DONE, I promise!!) And, because we all know how easy it is to fall down the social media black hole, set a timer for how long you’ll spend on social media. Once time’s up, you’re done!!
Pro Tip: Log out of social media and email when you’re through (and don’t save the login information or password). Make it difficult for you to tap or click over there when you’re bored.
Related Post: Have You Set Business Boundaries? Why You Need to Be! + 5 Healthy Things to Do When You Sit at a Desk All Day
[bctt tweet=”6 effective ways to “unplug” and keep technology from taking over your life!” username=”productivityzne”]
4 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME BY CREATING NO PHONE/TECHNOLOGY ZONES
You know how you’re supposed to silence or shut off your phone when you go to the movies? Creating no phone/technology zones is along the same idea. It’s basically creating rules around certain times or even places/rooms where phones and technology are not allowed to go. 🙅🏼
For example, date night could be a no phone/technology zone. (Leave them in your bag or, even better, the glove box of your car!) Movie night or favorite-TV-show-time is a no phone/technology zone. (Because who wants to hear a phone buzzing during Game of Thrones or This Is Us?) The kitchen table and meal times are no phone/technology zones. (Actually enjoy your food and the people you’re with!) The bedroom is a no phone/technology zone. (The blue light is bad for your health!) You see where I’m going with this?
Pro Tip: I also recommend creating no phone/technology zones for the first hour of every day (do something else like meditate or work out) and for 90 minutes before you go to bed (read a book instead).
Related Post: How to End Your Workday for a More Productive Day Tomorrow
5 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME WITH DIGITAL DIET DAYS/SOCIAL MEDIA FREE WEEKENDS
There was once a time when I thought going social media free for a whole day (never mind an entire weekend) was crazy. (The FOMO, my friends, was alive and well!) But I know better now. It’s actually quite freeing and refreshing to detox from technology once in a while.
Pro Tip: Start slow, start small. Gradually cutting back on screen time and social media time will help you accomplish your goals and create lasting habits. Start by taking longer social media breaks during the day and putting your phone away at the same time every night. Then begin detoxing from technology one day a week or month. You’ll soon be looking forward to those social media and screen-free times so, so much.
6 | CUT BACK ON SCREEN TIME BY USING A TRACKING APP
My sweet friend, Amanda Hedgepeth, turned me on to the Moment app. (Read this really awesome post she wrote about her own iPhone usage in 2 months!) The app automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using it too much, you can set daily limits and be notified (and even force yourself off the device) when you go over.
I haven’t actually used this yet. I’m a little bit afraid because I already know I’m still on my phone too much. 🙈 But I think it’s going to be a very eye-opening experiment. I know Amanda’s was and I bet yours will be, too. I’ll be sure to report back soon!
Pro Tip: You know how we are constantly saying we don’t have enough time to do all the things we need/want to do during the day? I’m willing to bet if you were to track how much time you spend on your phone, you’d find a few extra hours to get those to-dos done!
Related Post: It’s Not About Better Time Management, It’s About Better Self-Management
It’s important (now more than ever) to cut back on screen time and instill healthier habits and better boundaries when it comes to technology. It’s all around us and isn’t going anywhere. But the days and our lives are short. Don’t spend all of your precious time with your eyes glued to a device. Great things are happening, you just have to unplug from technology and plug into your real life to see them (and enjoy them)!!