We are constantly told to spend more time on our phones. Yet, a new study has found that the average person spends three hours and 53 minutes per day on their mobile phone. This is more than any other activity, including sleeping (two hours and 44 minutes) or eating (one hour and sixteen minutes). Too many of us spend too much time on our phones. So how can we reduce our mobile usage? Here are the tips:
Time your usage time every day
If you are using your phone too much, the first thing you should do is time your usage. Use a time tracker and see how much time you spend on your phone. The most popular app for this is Momentum. Knowing how much time you spend on your phone will help you figure out what needs to be changed to reduce your mobile usage. For example, if you find out that you spend 10 hours a day on Facebook or Instagram, you may need to take action and make some changes to reduce that amount of usage.
Do something that you enjoy instead of using your phone
If you have been spending time on your phone for entertainment, try doing something else. This could be reading a book or playing with your pet – whatever it is, try to turn off your phone and focus on the task at hand. Do this every day until it becomes a habit – then slowly increase the time spent doing something else instead of using your phone.
Read a book and enjoy it
Few things are more enjoyable than reading a good book — unless you’re watching a movie or playing video games. But those also have their place in life, so let’s focus on books for now. Reading is good for the mind and body because it stimulates the imagination, improves memory and increases vocabulary. It also slows the ageing process by keeping your brain active as you age. And let’s not forget about the health benefits of reading (there are many).
Don’t procrastinate on other stuff by using your phone
If you’re supposed to be studying, but instead of scrolling through Instagram, you’re wasting time and not getting anything done. You must get off your phone when you’re supposed to be doing something else, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Set a time limit for yourself when using your device each day or week, and stick to it! You can do this by setting up a passcode on your device or installing an app like Moment (available for iOS and Android). This forces you to spend less time on your phone because, once again… it’s harder than it sounds!
Talk to people around you
One of the most common reasons people use their phones so much is that they don’t want to be alone or bored. However, if we take a step back and look at things from another perspective, we would realize that it’s better off being alone with our thoughts than to be distracted by technology all the time! Instead of spending all your time on your phone when you’re out with friends or family, talk to them! Instead of spending time alone with your thoughts or talking with others, you prefer using technology as a distraction from reality.
Separate technology and relaxation time
Every day, we use our phones to make calls and browse the web. If you want to ensure that you are not overusing your phone, it is best to separate the times you use it for different activities. For example, if you want to relax without distractions, put your phone away during this time. You could even try turning off the notifications on your phone, so you do not get tempted to check them every few minutes.
Get rid of social media apps
The best thing you should do is to get rid of all the social media apps on your phone. It might sound like a drastic step, but it will help you to keep your usage in check. All those apps are designed to keep you engaged, so they will try and grab your attention every time you unlock your phone. If you’re not careful, this can lead to a lot of mindless browsing and time-wasting. If you still want some social media fix, there are two options open to you: the first is to use the mobile versions of these sites (which tend to be simpler) or download one of the many standalone apps available for each site (such as Twitter’s app).
Be careful about letting your kids have phones
While it’s true that having a smartphone can be a huge convenience, there are some risks you should consider before allowing your child to have one. For instance, smartphones and tablets are often used to access inappropriate material online. Research shows that children are more likely to access porn online if they have their own devices. It’s also important to note that kids, on average, spend eight hours per day with these devices. With so much time spent on smartphones and tablets, it’s important to consider the possible ramifications of this technology overload on your child’s health, such as sleep deprivation or social isolation.
One of the biggest time-wasters on smartphones is the constant stream of notifications that come through whenever someone likes a Facebook post or sends you an email. A good way to reduce your mobile usage is to eliminate notifications from your phone so that you don’t get distracted by them. However, if you want to keep some notifications, you can use an app like Freedom or StayFocusd for Chrome to block certain websites for specific periods.
Reduce the number of apps you have on your phone
One of the easiest ways to reduce your phone usage is to limit the number of apps on your phone. If you have many apps on your phone, you’re likely using them more often than you need to. You may have some apps for work, some for entertainment and others for communication, but if you’re not using all of those apps every day, there’s no reason to keep them on your phone in the first place.
Just think about this: when was the last time you used an app that wasn’t related to work or entertainment? If it had been a while since you’d last used an app unrelated to work or entertainment, then maybe it’s time to delete some old apps from your phone.