How to Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend on Your Cell Phone

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We’ve all been there, realizing that you are spending way too much time on your iPhone or Android or other mobile phone. That’s probably even more true since the pandemic hit.

Of course it’s bad for your eyes, but it can also be bad for your brain, and your peace of mind. If you are married or dating, it can also be very bad for your relationship. And if you have kids, you will want to limit their screen time, and “Do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t cut it. So it’s really important, for all of these reasons, to be able to rein in your own phone time.

One of the easiest ways to spend less time on your phone is to turn off notifications, including for email and instant messaging, as well as other apps. Delete unnecessary and distracting apps, especially those you spend more time on than you want. Removing access to these apps is a good way to keep them from draining your time, concentration and mental clarity.

Notifications don’t just intrude, they also distract your attention from what you intend to do when you reach for your phone. Turning off those notifications can help reduce the amount of time you spend checking your social media feeds, and force you to use apps, and especially social media, more conscientiously.

This will also help reduce the visual clutter on your home screen and eliminate temptation to check apps that display red warnings every time you look at your phone. There are also apps that will give you information about how much and how you spend time on your phone when you unlock it and when you use apps. There are also apps which will give you information about your phone usage habits, and even set up reminders for you to put your phone down. Digital Trends has a great article about iPhone and Android apps for limiting your screen time.

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But what if you are using your phone for work, and colleagues and clients need to get in touch with you through your phone? This of course is quite likely especially, again, since the pandemic started, and more and more people are working from home, many of them permanently.

As it turns out, it’s not that difficult to train people to respect windows of communication, and to not expect an instant response to an email, text message, or call. Adding something to your email signature such as “I check email between the hours of 9:00 and 10:00am, and again between 4:00 and 5:00pm” is an easy way set such a boundary; you can say the same thing in an outgoing voicemail message, or when you respond in a text message.

With everything going on right now, it’s more important than ever to set some digital boundaries, put your phone down, and take a break.

 

Do you have other tips for breaking the digital ball and chain? Let us know!

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “How to Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend on Your Cell Phone

  1. My solution: my phone is turned on only when I’m out of the house (i.e., away from the landline), and it’s not a smart phone.

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