Many people have become so dependent on technology that they have forgotten how to live without it. This is a problem because the more time we spend plugged into screens, the less time we spend living in the moment, interacting with those around us and enjoying real life.
Trying to achieve a balance between real life and screen time can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Take advantage of digital breaks: When you’re working or studying, set an alarm for every 20-30 minutes. When it goes off, put your phone down and take a break for 2-3 minutes. Stretch, walk around or do something else that gets you away from the screen.
- Create tech-free zones: If you have trouble disconnecting from your phone or computer when it’s time to relax, designate certain areas of your home as tech-free zones. For example, make your bedroom entirely phone-free or don’t bring your laptop into your living room when you’re relaxing there.
- Be mindful of social media: Social media can be addicting and distracting, which is why it’s important to set limits when using platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Try using them only at specific times of day (say 30 minutes each morning).
- Turn off all notifications on your phone except for calls and text messages. Notifications can easily turn into distractions that cause you to take your eyes off what you’re doing. It’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. Limit yourself to using your smartphone once every hour or so and only for short periods of time. This way, your attention span won’t be drained and you’ll be able to keep the focus on what matters most.
- Start small. Simply downloading a timer app like Forest will help you set limits on your phone use. The app plants a tree that grows taller as you stay away from your phone, giving you something to look forward to when you head back over to your device. Set alerts for yourself and stick with them, even if it means curtailing social media use during dinner or avoiding it at all for an hour before bedtime.