5 effective ways to reduce and minimize your screen time

Phones, tablets and other devices have influenced our daily lives. For many teenagers, these are the main artists and means of communication. Social media apps, services, and video calls can start eating up hours of time that could have been put to good use. Continued use of electronic devices often clouds judgment and addicts the user. Want to learn how to minimize screen time without overused tips? Here’s how:

1. Place a spreadsheet or planner nearby

Often, automated reminders to sign out do little to represent our goals and responsibilities. However, placing a physical or literal reminder may work better! Unlike social media app reminders, they always remain within the realm of your peripheral vision. Holding a pen or pencil in hand can serve as a substitute option.

2. Stop giving out your number!

It’s easier than it looks. If someone asks for your phone number, it’s okay to politely decline. Instead, give the person your email address or another preferred method of communication in addition to your phone number. This way, you won’t feel pressured to respond to instant message notifications and can respond on your own terms.

3. The Brightness Trick

For each reel or video you watch online, double-tap the brightness button on your keyboard. When the light gets too low to see properly on your device, it’s time to take a break or work towards a goal. Every ten minutes of productivity, press the brightness button on your keyboard once. When the brightness returns to its original intensity, you can either extend your screen time or continue occupying your break. The choice is yours.

4. Write down your deadlines in timestamps

On a piece of paper, write down how many days you have until you reach a deadline for an assignment, project, or test date. Then write down your daily schedule on another sheet. Subtract the hours you spend sleeping or attending class and circle the time you have left. Refer to your Screen Time stats (accessible on your device) and subtract this amount from the previous product. Chances are there isn’t much time left! Visualizing time in this way can inspire you to work harder. The fewer screens there are, the less these distractions occur.

5. Organize your tabs

If you’re using a computer that displays a bunch of tabs, start organizing them! Websites in your home entertainment tabs can be moved to the far right of your screen. Place sites and resources related to your schoolwork/profession on the far left. Once the tabs are ranked in order of importance, click on the first tab on the left (the one with the greatest importance). When the corresponding task is completed, click the tab. Continue this cycle without adding new tabs until you reach the last tab on the right.

This creative tip also gives you a representation of how much work remains to be done. Deleting a tab in this process is as satisfying as crossing an event off your calendar.

When using the screen is unintentional

Certain professions, missions and tasks require the use of a device that emits blue light. This can create an obstacle for users trying to avoid screens. Some of the tips and tricks listed above may not apply in certain circumstances. Here are more ways to minimize screen time and preserve your eyesight while online.

1. Blue light protection

Blue light emitted by electronic devices can cause eye strain and fatigue with continued exposure. Blue light blocking glasses can help! Some of these products make the text on your screen larger, which can be helpful for people with lower vision. Your vision and comfort should always come first.

2. Meeting start and end times

If you plan to attend a meeting, write down the start and end times. Establish a plan or goal after your meeting is over that doesn’t require online contributions. For example, you could walk around your neighborhood, meditate, or take care of your pets. If you can’t afford the time, blinking can soothe your overstimulated eyes.

3. Nightlight and brightness settings

When you’re online, try adjusting your brightness to avoid straining your eyes. Turning on the night light setting or dark light mode can also prevent eye strain. While these features are helpful, taking breaks can improve your mental health and reduce screen time!

Simply by clicking on this article, you have demonstrated your determination to put down the screen and explore alternative ways to pass the time. If you consistently follow these tips, you’ll spend less and less time online. Go explore the outdoors, soak up the sun and don’t forget to have fun!