Cut your phone time 📵
Less scrolling, more living
Hey there —
Did you know that the average person spends four hours — or more! — on their phone each day? 🤳
That’s at least a quarter of our waking hours spent tapping, scrolling, and staring at our pocket-sized screens. (With about half of that time going to our social media apps.)
It’s safe to say most of us could benefit from putting our phones down…and resisting the urge to pick them back up ten minutes later.
But if you’ve ever vowed to decrease your screen time, you know that breaking this deeply ingrained habit can be difficult.
Which is why we’re here to offer some extra encouragement to cut your phone time with this month’s habit challenge.
While technology definitely has its advantages, it’s hard to ignore the detrimental effects of phone overuse.
Research has also found that screens drain more of our mental resources, because our brains process digital content differently than printed content. Our eyes are forced to keep up with moving text, while the endless scroll provides zero indication of progress (unlike turning a physical page), leaving our brains in a mushy fog of blue light and pixels. 😵💫
And if that’s not reason enough to ditch your phone for a few minutes each day, think about how many times you’ve thought to yourself, “I’d love to pursue this hobby or goal, but I just don’t think I have the time”?
Sometimes, it’s less about finding time, and more about making time.
Limiting your phone use is a great way to take charge of the clock and get back an hour of your day. It’s also a prime opportunity for habit stacking by using those minutes you’d be scrolling to read, meditate, or go for a walk instead.
You don’t have to break up with your phone or favorite apps completely to reap the benefits of reduced phone time (like improved mental and physical health, stronger relationships, and increased happiness and satisfaction) — just set some boundaries.
So for the next 30 days, make good use of “do not disturb,” turn off your notifications, set time limits on your apps, or put your phone in a drawer or another room for a set amount of time each day — whatever helps you cut back.
And when you hear the siren call of that shiny, distracting device…send it to voicemail. ❌
Participate in the challenge!
Daily action: Every day for the next 30 days, cut your phone time.
To help you track your progress, download this printable Habit Tracker to mark off each day you resist the draw of the screen.
And after you’ve finished the challenge, fill out this Challenge Reflection to look back at your experience, take note of what you learned, and decide if this is a habit you want to make a permanent part of your routine.
Tips for success
😈 Identify your biggest nemesis. Head to your phone’s settings to find your usage times, overall and by app. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll have the information and motivation you need to set more strategic boundaries (and a metric for success). Maybe you need to cut back in general…or maybe you’re spending 4 hours playing Candy Crush — in which case it’s time to set a time limit on that app.
🎯 Aim for 1 hour less. According to one study, reducing your phone time by one hour per day is the sweet spot for improved mental and physical wellbeing — and sticking with a habit of less screen time long-term. If cutting one hour cold turkey feels too daunting, work your way there…15 minutes this week, 30 the next, 45 for week three, and finally 60 minutes for the remainder of the month.
⛅️ Start with your morning or evening. For many of us, our phone is the first thing we reach for in the morning, and the last thing we put away at night. Intentionally avoiding your phone for the first or last hour of the day can have a major positive impact. Instead of immediately launching into the notifications (and stress!) of the day or keeping your brain buzzing long into the night, take the time and space to wake up and wind down in a much more relaxing way.
How to use your phone…to limit your phone use.
Whether you’re an Android or Apple user, here’s a step-by-step guide for how to set up daily app usage limits on your device. →
If you’ve got an iPhone and don’t want to completely turn off your app notifications, but also want to reduce the urge to pick up your phone at every ping, here’s how to schedule all your notifications for a specific time. →
And finally, here’s an oldie-but-goodie from Matt’s YouTube channel featuring 6 ways to reduce screen time. →