Did you miss part one or two? If you’re interested in an overview about digital distractions and how they add clutter to our minds, read part 1. To read more about the importance of evaluating and monitoring your time online, read part 2.
For tips and suggestions about different ways you can remove some distractions and decrease your screen time, continue reading below.
Ways you can remove digital distractions and reduce screen time:
Turn off notifications for your Apps and emails.
Every ping from your device takes you away from the present and distracts you. Check your notifications and turn off any that don’t require immediate attention.
Unsubscribe from emails that are no longer relevant.
As you check your email over the next couple of days take a couple of minutes and unsubscribe from anything that you regularly skip over. These could be emails from stores that you don’t shop at often or places you donated to in the past. I do this about 4 times a year and it helps to limit my incoming mail to useful content.
Use your inbox as a to-do list and delete completed items or move them to a folder.
Having a cluttered inbox can make checking your email feel overwhelming. If there are emails you want to keep, simply move them to a “keep” folder. There is no reason to have an elaborate folder system since you can use the search feature to find what you are looking for.
Keep your phone on silent and only check it throughout the day when you are available to respond to texts and calls.
You may not be able to do this every day or all day but silencing everything and just being present where you are as much as possible is always beneficial. I especially enjoy this when I’m spending time with my family.
Limit your time on social media.
Set times throughout the day to check your social media accounts instead of just browsing randomly. It will be easier to control how much time you spend there.
Unfriend or unfollow groups you no longer have an interest in.
Eliminate anything that makes you feel bad or annoys you. Life is too short.
Set expectations and a purpose for each device.
To keep me from getting sucked into the digital world throughout the day I have set expectations and a purpose for my devices.
My phone is only used for calling and texting and I keep it on a shelf in my kitchen. I keep it on silent as much as possible but make a point to check it at least 3 times a day. When I do check it, I make sure it is at a time that I can respond to calls and texts.
My iPad is used for blogging, checking the news, online shopping, checking email, paying bills, and general searching. I keep my iPad on my desk with my planner. The frequency I use my iPad depends on the day. I try to have 2-3 days a week that I don’t pick it up at all. I normally save all of my bills and scheduling for Fridays.
My TV is my device for entertainment and we keep ours in our finished basement. I love that we only have one and that it isn’t upstairs in our main living area so we aren’t ever tempted to watch it during the day. I enjoy watching a few shows with my husband after we put the kids to bed.
Use a tech-free alternative if available.
Nowadays there is an app for everything! To avoid adding additional screen time you can choose a tech-free alternative for simple issues. Here are some ideas to use paper and pencil instead of technology.
- Grocery list
- To-do list
- Goal tracker
Establish tech-free areas.
Keep some areas in your home tech-free. Examples:
- Kitchen table
- Front porch
What do you do to avoid digital distractions or reduce your screen time?