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Tips to reduce your screen time

Flat lay of a mobile phone, pen and flowers on a light blue background

I bet, like me, you spend a lot of time looking at screens. Whether it’s your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or TV. We all know that too much screen time isn’t good for us but it’s hard to break habits. I’m trying to make a conscious effort to spend less time looking at a screen and I’ve found some really effective ways of doing this. So here’s my top tips to reduce your screen time!

Set limits on your phone

If you have an iPhone you can see how much time you spend on your phone in Settings>Screen Time. You might be shocked to see how long you spend on certain Apps (I’m looking at you Instagram!) or how often you pick up your phone each day.

Luckily you can do a few simple things to help with this. One is to schedule Downtime, where you can set time away from your screen (in hours or between certain hours) and you can customise days too (digital detox on the weekends?).

Want to reduce the time you spend on certain Apps? Then use the App Limits feature where you can set your daily usage on specifics Apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Once you’ve reached your limit, you won’t be able to access them until the next day.

Setting Screen Time on an iPhone

If you’re an Android user, you’ll find the app timers and other features in Settings> Digital Wellbeing. Find out how to access the features and manage your time by reading this support article by Google.

Turn off notifications

I don’t have any notifications enabled on my phone. I do this because I don’t want an ‘excuse’ to pick up my phone, plus I find them quite intrusive. I highly recommend switching off notifications on all your Apps so you’re not constantly being interrupted.

Turn Zoom calls into phone calls

Why does every call now need to be on video? It doesn’t! Why not suggest that some work calls are just good old fashioned phone calls? That way, you’re not staring at a screen and you could even take your call outside and get some fresh air!

Read more, watch less

This is definitely my favourite tip! I used to wake up, make a coffee and turn on breakfast television but not any more. For over a year now I start my morning with a coffee in bed and at least 20 to 30 mins reading a book. It’s a much gentler way to start the day. I highly recommend it! Sometimes after work, I pick up my book and read rather than switch on the telly straight away. Need some book inspiration? Here’s nine books I read and loved.

Reading a book in bed in the morning

Switch your phone off at night

I’ve only started doing this in the last month or so but it’s really helped me to stop reaching for my phone! At about 8pm, it gets switched off and doesn’t get turned on until the morning. The best thing about doing this is that it stops me looking at my phone right before bed – which is really not conducive to good sleep!

Do some exercise

Honestly, when I want some non-screen time I go for a run, do a gym class or go swimming (the last two not for a few months though unfortunately, due to Covid.). My favourite is swimming as my phone stays firmly in the locker!

Get cooking

Another tip for getting away from screens is to spend some time cooking or baking. I find cooking and baking quite relaxing and it’s nice to have an activity that doesn’t require me to be on a phone or tablet (especially as all my recipes are in books!).

So those are my tips for reducing screen time. What’s helped you? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments!

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Tips to reduce screen time and improve wellbeing
Tips to reduce your screen time



Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.



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