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How to reduce your screen time

By LauraT 17 Feb 2021

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, the scrolling is endless! With so much time on our hands, it seems like our screen time is increasing by hours and hours each day (I know mine has!). 📱

While you’re practicing social distancing, why not use some of my top tips for digital distancing too!

1. Set time limits for certain apps ⏱

Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat are entertaining and can fill time between lessons, but are you endlessly scrolling and wondering how you have been looking at these apps for hours?

Why not check at your screen time and identify which apps you spend the most time on then ask yourself – is this benefiting my life? If the answer is no, then set a time limit for the app! Make realistic time limits and set a goal for yourself each week, decreasing your time each week. You will realise how much free time you have to be productive!

2. Don’t go on your phone as soon as you wake up 🙅🏼‍♀️

I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do in the morning is look at my phone. Then, I realise I have been lazing about in bed on my phone for an hour!

This is not a good habit as we wake up and focus on other people’s lives instead of our own, and this has been proven to increase stress. Instead, try not to pick up your devices for 60 minutes after you wake up, you will realise how much you can get done whilst decreasing your reliance on your device. I have felt a lot more productive in the morning since incorporating this step into my routine.

3. Turn your phone off before bedtime 😴

The National Sleep Foundation recommends you should stop using your devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Try leaving your phone in another room or out of reach from your bed, then you won’t be tempted to pick it up so quickly when you are tucked up in your warm bed. Practicing yoga, meditation or reading a book is a fantastic alternative to unwind before hitting the hay.

4. Read a book 📚

Nothing is more exciting than finding that book you cannot put down. Let your imagination flow by picking up a book rather than scrolling through social media. This is a great change you can make to your routine to reduce your screen time. It allows you to escape to a world unlike our everyday lives in lockdown, it is a great distraction from every day worries. And if you don’t like reading, you definitely haven’t found the right book. ;)

5. Take breaks from devices 📓

Sometimes we need a break from our devices, to do nothing - literally nothing! The world is so crazy right now and we often try to fill every second with distractions to keep ourselves busy. But this time can be used for valuable reflection and self-improvement. Why not try journaling or some mindful exercises to ground yourself and get a new perspective on the way you process your own thoughts. I have benefitted from journaling every morning to get my emotions out and feel fresh for each day.

6. Pick up a new hobby 🏐🎨

With all this free time – what do I do now!? What about that task you’ve been meaning to complete, or the thing you’ve been wanting to try for ages? You choose what you want to do with the time, whether that is getting outside, baking, dancing – try something new and I am sure you won’t regret it!

Did you know that UAL has a wide range of clubs and societies you can join? This article will tell you everything you need to know about joining them

7. Download the app Forest 📲

Forest is an app that can help you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work. I have found this app particularly useful when I am focusing on meeting one of my deadlines. 

The app works by planting a virtual tree while you focus. While you are focusing on your task your virtual tree will grow on your phone. If you get distracted and pick up your phone halfway through your virtual tree will die. It may seem a bit silly but sometimes it's the small things that keep us motivated. 

I hope these tips are helpful for you to reduce your screen time and to put down your devices! Remember to take one day at a time :)