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10 Practical Tips to Cut Down the Time You Spend on Your Phone

Here's how to slowly become a digital minimalist!
10 Practical Tips to Cut Down the Time You Spend on Your Phone
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Here's how to slowly become a digital minimalist!

After a year of lockdown, we hold our phones closer to our hearts than ever. This isn't even a bad thing! We should be done feeling guilty about skyrocketing screen time statistics, seeing as we use our devices for work, school, socialization, intellectual nourishment, watching movies, attending important family events, and others. But, if you feel that you need to take a breather every once in a while, there are still easy ways to enact a digital cleanse, if you will.

Slow living advocate Alex Miotto shared some tips on cutting down your phone time, and using your devices more proactively. Read on!

1. Educate yourself on how much time you actually spend on your phone.

Both Android and iOS feature digital well-being trackers that reflect how many hours you spend on your phone daily. Try not to beat yourself up over this! Just take a moment to reflect on your current screen time, and your goal screen time.

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2. Change your phone background to plain white.

Personalization is great, but it might be best to channel that into your desktop background instead. Since it's a given that you'll be on your phone at any given hour, you might want to lessen the stimulation you get from it.

3. Make it super inconvenient to get sucked into time-killing apps.

Hide the most irresistible apps in folders within folders on your phone. Keep them three swipes away from your home screen. Bury them in a folder with the default apps. Anything! Additionally, log out of social media and unsave your passwords so that you won't find yourself mindlessly opening any of them. Push yourself to painstakingly log in again if you actually need to open your socials.

4. Give your phone a physical home.

Out of sight, out of mind! Put your phone in a specific corner of your room so you won't unthinkingly reach for it when you don't need to. When you eventually need it, you'll know where to get it.

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5. Remove the low-priority apps. 

Do you really need Twitter on both your phone and your computer? Set high standards for the apps that make it onto your phone.

6. Set app timers.

Open your phone settings and set an app timer that'll disable Instagram after you've been on it for over an hour. This totally works!

7. Use real-life objects more often.

Get an alarm clock so your phone isn't the first thing you touch in the morning. Glance at your watch or wall clock instead of squinting at your phone to check the time. Write an actually grocery list that you can fold in your pocket.

8. Block non-essential notifications.

This one is self-explanatory: If you don't need those push notifications from shopping platforms, feel free to block them.

9. Set your phone to grayscale when you need to wind down.

Figure out how to turn your phone on black-and-white mode in the hours leading up to your bedtime. This terminates the positive reinforcements we get when wolfing down riveting images on our socials. Instagram will become really boring all of sudden! If you struggle with doomscrolling, this trick might just work!

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10. Set a schedule to check social media.

YouTube: Only from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. Messenger: Every 30 minutes. Instagram: Every three hours. If you don't need to constantly be online for work, you might want to try this! Having a set schedule takes a lot of discipline, it will make your phone work for you, and not the other way around.

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