How can you reduce your screen time? We are in the middle of the age of digitalization. Since around 2010, I've basically been working on my PC for around 10 hours a day and also use my TV and smartphone outside of this time. My eyes also suffer as a result - logically, headaches are not long in coming. As a result, I deliberately go without digital devices for a few hours - and suddenly I'm bored. A warning signal! Whether at work, at home or both - now is the time to minimize the time spent using computers, cell phones and the like.
In this article, I would like to share my most important learnings and tips with you so that you too can reduce your screen time and protect the health of your eyes. Let's go!
In advance as always a short Table of contents about the contribution:
- Making advantages aware
- Set clear limit
- Set up technology free zone
- Using apps for monitoring
- 20-20-20 rule comply
- Make smartphone uninteresting
- Find meaningful offline activities
- Formulate clear goals & measures
- Allow time for breaks
- Do digital detox
Notice: Incidentally, this article is deliberately not called Digital Detoxbecause for me the term describes a complete renunciation of digital devices over a certain period of time.
1. make yourself aware of the advantages!
Why should we reduce our screen time at all? We should first answer this question very clearly so that we can actually go through with our plan. Here are some pretty obvious answers:
- Easy on the eyes (by using your eyesight over short but also long distances)
- Become more relaxed (and reduce stress from too much stimuli and information).
- Increased well-being (through more natural everyday behavior without technology)
- More time for family and friends (due to less distraction)
- Higher productivity on the job (see also Tips for more productive work)
- Sleep better (see also Tips for better sleep)
- Become more energetic (see also Tips for more energy in everyday life)
- Increase creativity (with calm comes the return of creative intelligence)
- Increase perception (An eye and appreciation for the little things in everyday life)
This list could be continued almost ad infinitum. If you can think of any other reasons for reduced screen time that should definitely not be missing here, feel free to write me a comment.
2. set yourself a clear limit!
Do you basically work in the office every day? Then take care of clear limits to the useful life and make sure that you do not exceed them. Take breaks in between to allow your eyes to relax. You should draw a clear line, especially when it comes to reducing screen time in your free time. For example, "No more than two episodes of your favorite series a day" or "No more than half an hour on Instagram a day" or something similar.
Tip: If you have trouble sticking to such rules even on your time off, you're in for a real challenge. For example, in the linked post, I give you the most important Tips against cell phone addiction.
3. set up a technology-free zone for yourself
When your tech devices are smiling at you from every corner of your home, it's hard to resist them. That's why you should set up a room that is really free of any technology and exclusively for offline activities is used. You should spend some time here every day!
4. use apps for monitoring
Fortunately, the tools for controlled screen time are already pre-installed on Android and Apple devices. "Digital Wellbeing" (on Android) and "Screen Time" (on Apple) show you exactly how long you spend in front of the screen every day and what you spend your time doing online. In addition, you can Control usage behavior very well with the tools and ultimately reduce the duration of your online activities.
But you can of course also use third-party apps. Here are some recommended examples:
- Screen Time & Time Tracker
Tip: At this point, I would also like to share my article about sustainable surfing on the internet recommend! After all, if you're going to be on the screen, make it as environmentally friendly as possible!
5. keep the 20-20-20 rule
There is still general disagreement among health experts about the extent to which staring at a screen has serious consequences for eye health. But to prevent your eyes from becoming dry and tired, you should definitely apply the 20-20-20 rule from Californian optician Jeffrey Anshel. For every 20 minutes on the screen, you spend 20 seconds looking at an object that is at least 20 feet (about 6 meters) away from you. This allows you to relax your eyes and give them a short break.
6. make your smartphone uninteresting
The main reason why we spend so much time on screens, even outside of work, is that we obviously don't understand the content. more interesting than anything else find! Fortunately, a smartphone can also become uninteresting with the following tips:
- Uninstall unimportant apps (only the few are really important!)
- Disable push messages and advertising
- Set your smartphone to silent
- Set your screen to black and white
7. find useful offline alternatives
When we reach for our cell phones out of boredom, we don't seem to have more exciting alternatives away from the screen. So by getting Exciting offline activities you can reduce your screen time in really simple ways. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
- Read books (How to get yourself to read more books)
- Meet friends
- Participate in demonstrations
- Go to the stadium
- Working on farms of mercy
- Exercise regularly (set ambitious goals!)
The next time you reach for your smartphone for no apparent reason, do 25 sit-ups - or a whole gym session. Is that enough motivation? Of course, these are just a few examples - the offline world (the real world away from our screens) is open to us! 😉
Tip: It just occurred to me that the principle of "listening instead of watching" also reduces your screen time and is easy on your eyes! For example, listen to a podcast on a specific topic instead of watching a documentary on TV or a few YouTube videos.
8. formulate clear goals
What do you want to achieve? And how do you want to achieve it? We often answer our cell phones out of habit or boredom. Self-imposed rules and goals help us break out of old habits.
I also have some examples for you:
- Only check messenger messages and emails 3 times a day (e.g. at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.)
- Don't look at your cell phone for the first time in the morning until after breakfast (for only 5 minutes)
- Never go to the toilet with smartphone (by the way, the WC is a very good technology-free room!)
- The smartphone stays in your pocket while you work (and not on the desk)
- Meeting friends at least two days a week (arrange in the previous week already and make dingfest!)
9. allow time for breaks
I've already mentioned it: give yourself a break regularly. Until recently, I always tried to "plow through". But in my experience, even 15 minutes of screen pauseIn the end, your mind and eyes will relax and you will gain new strength to continue working more effectively and with greater concentration.
10. do digital detox
Now I still come to the cold turkey to talk! Do you want to reduce your screen time but it's just not working? Then get rid of all your technical devices for a week/month (with the exception of your PC at work, of course) to declare war on your addictions. During this time, you will feel in an unpleasant way how much your smartphone, for example, has already taken over you. But It will definitely be easier for you afterwardsto spend your time away from technical devices and bright, colorful screens.
Reduce screen time - specifically, with just a few tips!
Neither our eyes nor our entire organism are designed to stare at a screen while sitting in a chair for hours on end. Both our eyes and our bodies need variety and exercise. You should provide that!
I hope that this article has given you some valuable tips on how to reduce your daily screen time. Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips for me and all readers? Then I look forward to your comments!
PS.: Less screen time usually means also more time in the fresh air in nature! In the linked article you can find out why this is so healthy. Have fun!