Tuesday 6 October 2020

Top 5 Strategies for Managing Screen Time

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Life without smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions and the internet is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine. Most people can’t survive without their devices. However, everyone can benefit from cutting down their usage.

While the spotlight was initially on children and teens, conversations around screen time are starting to involve adults as well. According to MarketWatch, we now spend more than 11 hours per day gazing at screens. That’s the majority of your waking life. Needless to say, that there are some noteworthy consequences, including:

       Poorer posture

       Difficulty sleeping

       Lack of physical activity

       Anxiety and depression

       Eye strain and blurry vision

Stay clear of these and many other health problems with the following 5 strategies for managing your screen time.

Turn on Screen Time

Earlier this year, Apple rolled out their Screen Time app to help us combat our online obsessions. Google did the same with Digital Wellbeing, which comes pre-installed on newer Android devices.

Whatever platform you’re on, checking out the respective feature is a good idea. You’ll find all kinds of data detailing how you use your phone. Both tools let you block certain apps during specific times, which can help you stay focused. Moreover, you can choose certain times for entering silent mode to avoid waking up to notifications.

Practice Sleep Hygiene

Just like getting sunlight exposure during the day and blacking out your room at night, distancing from electronics before bed is a useful rule for better sleep hygiene. Try to leave your phone somewhere else in the home and keep thoughts about notifications at bay. Rest-assured that you can tend to them tomorrow.

Consider eliminating any other activities involving screens and your bed, such as using a laptop or watching television. Technology impacts your slumber in significant ways, and children can be affected as well. That’s why it’s better to keep the two separate when possible.

Always Carry Books

Whether they’re e-ink or paperback, books serve as excellent tools for managing your screen time. As long as you have one with you, the option to read instead of pulling out your phone will always be available. Throw your favorite literature into your bag and focus on building the habit of reaching for the book instead of a gadget.

Mindful purchase decisions can equip you with some incredible reads. From fantasy novels to history books to self-help guides and more, there are countless options. Plus, you can start building a collection to impress your guests.

Don’t Eat and Scroll

As delicious as the meal in front of you may look, forgoing any picture-taking or post-uploading until you’ve actually eaten the food is a wise decision.

Focusing on the contents of your dish instead of your phone has numerous benefits. This includes making you more engaged with other people at the table, as well as having more appreciation for your food and its flavors. It’s one simple way to enjoy the moment for a few minutes in our perpetually-online world.

Start Meditating

In any moment of boredom or mere silence, our natural instinct has become reaching for our phone. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the case. In a similarly way to focusing on your food, drawing attention to your body and the surrounding environment can help you gain a newfound appreciation for those quiet periods.

Eventually, you will become content with just sitting and enjoying the present moment. Remember that meditation is as simple as closing your eyes, breathing deeply and observing your thoughts instead of controlling them. Ironically, there are many great meditation apps that you can make use of to get some guidance.

Don’t forget to purge your phone of any useless and distracting apps. Following these steps will make a world of a difference in your screen time.


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