How to spend less time on your phone in 2023, according to top experts
If you’re starting to feel like you’re spending too much time on your phone, you probably are.
Globally, 4.1 trillion hours were spent staring at mobile phone screens last year, Data.ai reports – the equivalent of 470 million years.
The average American and British spend at least a fifth of their day using one app – with short-form video apps like TikTok taking up the most time.
However, studies increasingly show that they are making us miserable. Research last April shows that cutting your smartphone time to just one hour a day will make you less anxious, more satisfied with life, and more likely to exercise.
As we are only 11 days into the new year, there has never been a better time to try a digital detox. DailyMail.com asked experts how to do it:
If you’re starting to feel like you’re spending too much time on your phone, you probably are. Globally, 4.1 trillion hours were spent staring at mobile phone screens last year, as reported by Data.ai (file image)
Identify ‘problematic’ apps… and hide them
Becca Caddy, author of Screen Time: How to Make Peace with Your Devices and Find Your Techquilibrium, says focusing on apps that make you pick up your phone is a great first step.
Caddy recommends setting realistic goals rather than trying to go straight from a three-hour daily routine down to three minutes.
‘We all have an app (or three) that wipes out our will.
Becca Caddy, author of Screen Time: How to Make Peace with Your Devices and Find Your Techquilibrium, recommends setting more realistic goals than trying to jump straight from a three-hour-a-day routine to a three-minute routine.
‘Perhaps you can’t take your eyes off the makeup tutorials on TikTok or get addicted to the latest news headlines on Twitter.
‘Fortunately, your phone has a built-in way to set daily time limits for the worst offenders.
‘Find out these settings (called App Limits in Screen Time on iOS and Digital Wellbeing on Android) and give yourself a daily allowance.
‘When you hit your limit, a message pops up.
‘You can ignore it, and some days you might, but when you’re stuck in the roll hole, this gentle nudge could be just what you need to remind you that life exists. outside your phone screen. ‘
Also, why don’t you try hiding apps in hard to find folders?
Most phones these days also have a setting that lets you ‘remove’ an app from your home screen entirely, forcing you to manually search for it every time you want to use it.
Visualize the benefits…or take a cold shower!
Spending hours staring at your phone is a waste of time, so Mallory recommends visualizing the benefits of stopping.
‘Imagine what you can do with the free time you normally spend on your phone, the experiences you can have.
‘Put aside the things you can’t control and focus on the things you can. It’s important to feel like you’re in control of your life and not a passenger.’
Today, everyone from professional athletes like Conor McGregor to celebrities like Oprah and powerful CEOs use visualization techniques.
This technique is often associated with visualizing career success, but experts say it can also be used to break habits.
Max Kirsten, a hypnotherapist in London, recommends taking 15 minutes a day to clear your mind and think about why stopping will make a difference in your life.
But former racer and life coach Penny Mallory, author of 365 Ways to Develop Mental Resilience, advocates a tougher approach.
To break a habit, you can focus your mind on discipline, and Penny recommends taking a cold shower every day to ‘build discipline, resilience, commitment and determination’.
She says that not only can you not use your phone during that time, but it also teaches you discipline.
‘A lot of people don’t reach their goals because they’re not willing to leave their comfort zone and push themselves further.
‘Step out of your comfort zone, you lose nothing; you will succeed or learn from it, and both are big wins. As a result, your chances of achieving it are higher.’
Set house rules
Charlotte Armitage, Registered Integrative Psychotherapist & Communication Psychologist and Founder of No Phone Day at Home, says households should set strict rules about when can and cannot use smartphones – and remove children’s devices when they are not needed.
Former race car driver and life coach Penny Mallory, author of 365 Ways to Develop Mental Resilience advocates a tougher approach. To break a habit, you can focus your mind on discipline, and Penny recommends taking a cold shower every day to ‘build discipline, resilience, commitment and determination’
These can be very simple – but effective – rules, such as not using your phone during dinner or after a certain period of time.
Forcing your children to follow will make it easier for you to incorporate them into your own routine.
Writing down and agreeing on rules with the rest of the family can be helpful, holding each member accountable.
Armitage says: ‘Put boundaries around usage. Don’t leave your phone at the dinner table. When going out to eat, encourage people to put their phones away’.
Armitage advises at least one day without a phone over the weekend – this should be agreed upon in advance.
‘I tried this with my daughter, we have limited time spent on devices and now have a day without them at the weekend.
‘I see benefits to our health, our relationships and our behaviour.’
‘Use device-free time to connect with people in your family; chat, play a game, go for a walk, join an art activity, exercise or sport together, sit together and talk.
‘Research has found that notifications on our phones can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feeling good.
‘When something encourages the release of dopamine, the brain builds a positive association with that object, seeking more, this is how devices become addictive.’
Science shows that looking at your phone right before bed disrupts your sleep, Caddy warns – although it’s still unclear if this is due to blue light or just social media stress. .
She said: ‘If you can’t get rid of the habit of scrolling before bed. Learn your do not disturb settings.
‘You can schedule these to start an hour (or two, if you feel good) before bed. That way, if you lose track of time, your phone will work for you, not against you, blocking notifications, implementing limits, and making sure you stick to your intentions for a good night’s sleep. good night.’
Source: | This article originally belonged to Dailymail.co.uk