Industry News

Put The Device Down

a guy sleeping until his phone pings

Ever find yourself totally overwhelmed with life? Take a minute and think about these questions and answer honestly to yourself: 

  • How many hours a day are you on your phone-texting, on Pinterest, or playing games?
  • How many additional hours a day are you actively using a computer, tablet, or kindle?
  • How quickly do you check any of these devices after receiving a notification?

If you answered those questions honestly without moving back in your seat, rolling your eyes, not being defensive, or immediately thought no- you maybe addicted to your cell phone. The average American spends over 10 hours in front of a screen daily. Each day only has 24 hours; if you are lucky and get 8 hours of sleep at night then that means you are using most of your day in front of a screen and not enough moments of your day in a digital-free space.

Everyday people are in front of a screen; either for work, school, or just for personal use. Digital devices have completely taken over our everyday life, one minute we can be working, next thing we know we hear a ping of a new message, email, and other notifications which then takes us from focusing on the task we were just working on.

Have you been wanting to minimize time on your device? In today’s digital era it is not easy to consider turning off your device as a permanent solution, but you can fight back and make positive adjustments to your unhealthy relationship with your devices.

  • Admit It, You’ve Got a Problem- noticing you have a problem; like scrolling through your Facebook feed for the third time in the last 10 minute.
  • Take a Break- Turn your screen off- it can cause eye strain looking at your screen too long, even long term physical body pains. Take a 10-minute walk, get fresh air, clear your thoughts, leave your phone on the desk.
  • Get a Planner and Work Offline- Having a physical planner will keep you off your devices. Using digital planners can be tempting to just sway away and take a quick “two-minute” peek at social media. Writing things down physically helps us remember better and it keeps us off the screen for a little. It’s an easy transition, try it!
  • Scramble the Apps on Your Cell Phone- Changing up the way your apps display can be the first start of decreasing screen time. Our thumbs become handwired and we often find ourselves automatically tapping at the screen without looking, taking us to our favorite app. Switching up the location or order of our apps or even displaying them in places we can’t see easily help. When we do this we have to stop and think where the app is, it takes a little time to search that we don’t want to do.
  • Create Non-Digital Space Throughout the Day- Create a new routine; if you wake up checking your phone and the last thing you do before bed is being on your phone. Separate the process of beginning and ending the day with your device. Change your morning up from rolling over in bed and scrolling to morning yoga, a light run, meditation, or even make yourself breakfast; just spending 15-20 minutes when you wake up away from the screen helps improve your body and mind.
  • You Don’t Need to Be Available 24/7- Switch your phone to silent mode for a couple hours- this will keep you from checking your phone whenever you hear that ping of a notification. It will help you focus and eliminate the urge to constantly check your phone. Set specific times throughout the day to check your device. Make a certain ping for the important people who are allowed to interrupt you separate from your friend just giving you a call.
  • Fight Fire With Fire- Find the apps that can help moderate and limit the amount of time you are able to spend browsing your favorite digital distractions. Check out a few of them:
    • RescueTime
    • Forest
    • Goodnight Chrome
    • StayFocusd

You think you can find the right balance now? Its simple, download one of the above tools, buy a planner, or mix up your app location. Try a couple of the ideas above to see what works best for you. Your eyes, body, and mind will thank you for taking a break. 

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