The smartphone is dominating all spheres of modern lives. Be it communication, networking, scheduling, managing work-related connectivity, or leisure, a smartphone is the answer. From setting up alarms, recording videos, taking notes, or setting up calendars, all the chores are carried out by these technologically advanced nifty devices. They’ve certainly made lives easier. However, there’s a downside to smartphones and devices as well. The ease that smartphones offer in an individual’s lives also results in their excessive usage.
This reliance on smartphones also has negative impacts such as less productivity, loss of focus, poor mental health, and much more. That is why everyone needs to try and restrict their screen time to a minimum. To avoid wasting away hours on mindless social media scrolling, here are 5 ways to limit smartphone usage.
1Minimize Your Notifications
The sound and display of new notifications on the smartphone screen is the perfect excuse for people to pick up their phones. Once they do that, then it’s a downward spiral of losing hours, as one notification leads to another. It’s an endless cycle. The solution? Minimize the number of notification pop-ups. For instance, set a different ringtone for important notifications such as bill payment, calendar reminders, essential emails, and messages. Avoid responding to social media and other entertainment-related notifications to lessen any distractions.
2De-Glamorize the Smartphone!
Smartphones are designed with vivid color and sleek images and display to capture and increase the user’s attention span. The smartphone designs are all about an engaging experience. Want to reduce your screen time? Make the smartphone less appealing. For certain hours of the day, turning the phone to grey-scale mode is an effective method. The grey-scale mode makes the phone less appealing to the users, resulting in limited phone usage for only essential tasks such as responding to calls and messages.
3Analyze the Root-Cause of Increased Smartphone Usage
Losing away hours on scrolling through different social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook is extremely common for people. Once they pick up the phone, it’s difficult to put it down. The best way to limit screen time is to analyze the distractors hiding in our phones. For some people, it’s the social media apps, for others it may be games and videos. Smartphones have features that can show how much time the user spends on the phone functions and various apps. Such a breakdown of screen utilization can help people to curb their unhealthy phone addiction.
4Disconnect from The Phone Screen
Nowadays, the smartphone gives many options that allow the users to disconnect when needed. There are features and tools in phones that can easily diminish excessive screen usage. Users can set time limitations for daily usage on the applications, which will prevent the tendency to use certain apps for a longer time. For instance, when a user hits their set time limit on Instagram or Twitter, the phone will lock away the application. Additionally, features like Night Mode, Do Not Disturb mode, and Night Light function on phones help to minimize screen time during the nights.
5Keep the Phone Out of Reach
It is common to lose away precious time on a smartphone while scrolling on apps or chatting with friends. One of the simplest yet effective ways of reducing phone time and increasing productivity is to keep your device far away from the workstation. This is because people tend to become distracted by phones and take a short break that extends to many hours. So, it is advised to place your smartphone in the other corner of the room so that it might not distract you. I remember when I got into the habit of binge-watching on my Spectrum TV app. It took a toll on my productivity. Therefore, I decided to put the device at an arm’s length so I may not waste my time any further.
With so many amazing features and applications, it is a bit hard to put the phone down. However, it is also true that continuous and unmonitored use of smartphone usage can lead to phone addiction. Additionally, it can also negatively affect a person’s wellbeing and connectedness with the real world. Therefore, it is essential to engage in active strategies to curb one’s urge to constantly be on the phone at all times.
Also published on Medium.