The sheer number of people who are glued to their smartphones is nothing short of alarming. Many of us are borderline addicted to our smartphones, with data showing that Americans spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone per day and check their phones an average of 58 times each day.
Smartphones can also be a source of distraction from more important things, like our spouses, children, friends, self-care, hobbies, and more. Not to mention how their overuse can take a toll on your mental health. There are countless reasons to spend less time on your smartphone, but actually doing it can be a daunting task.
If you rely on your smartphone for nearly every aspect of your life, consider using it less. You might be surprised by how much of a difference it can make across various facets of your life.
How To Use Your Smartphone Less
Use apps to support self-control
It seems counterintuitive to use an app to limit the time you spend on your phone, but it really can make a big difference.
The Screentime app is a useful tool that can help you limit the amount of time you spend on your phone. It will measure how much time you spend on your phone, which is pretty eye-opening for many people. You can also put time limits on specific apps.
The Forest app is another productivity tool that can improve your digital well-being. Speaking of well-being, if you’re interested in overcoming mental blocks and improving your overall emotional well-being, contact me about one-on-one coaching. You don’t have to take on the stress of a big life change all on your own!
Delete some apps
Deciding which apps to get rid of might seem like a daunting task, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to your screen time. Rather than simply deleting the apps you already don’t use, challenge yourself to get rid of apps that you spend more time on than you’d like. Be selective about the apps you keep, ensuring that they improve your mental health and productivity, rather than hindering it. In this post, I share 12 of my favorite free apps for moms.
Social media apps are among the main contributors to phone addiction. Removing them from your phone is a guaranteed way to spend less time on your phone. There is so much to gain from deleting unnecessary apps from your phone, like increased focus and productivity, as well as better mental health. If you’re a mom and you currently have a love/hate relationship with social media, this episode of my podcast is for you!
Adjust your phone settings
Adjusting your phone settings is an easy way to encourage yourself to spend less time on your phone. Some quick changes you can make include:
- Turn off notifications
- Set your screen to grayscale
- Remove addicting apps from your home screen
- Set your phone to airplane mode
- Turn on do not disturb
- Set a longer password
- Silence all phone calls except for ones from friends and family
Set aside one day per week
Here’s a super common technique that has proven to be successful for people who want more free time and to spend less time on their phones. Select one day each week (I recommend a Saturday or Sunday) and put your phone down. Leave your phone in that spot for the remainder of the day.
That’s all it takes! Once you do it a few weeks in a row, it’ll become an easy habit.
Don’t charge your phone near your bed
An easy way to use your smartphone less is to stop charging it near your bed. Don’t charge it in your bedroom at all. Charging your phone somewhere else in your home eliminates the problems associated with bringing your phone into the bedroom. You will likely see an improvement in your sleep quality, as well as better communication and improved intimacy with your spouse.
If you rely on your phone to wake you up in the morning, purchase an alarm clock.
Wait 30-60 minutes after waking to use your phone
One study found that 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning. This habit tends to increase stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed in the first few minutes of your day.
Instead of checking your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning, wait at least 30 to 60 minutes. Spend that time preparing for your day and working toward your personal goals. You might be surprised by how much better you’ll feel moving forward.
Here are some helpful tips for avoiding your phone first thing in the morning:
- Put your phone on airplane mode before you go to sleep and don’t turn it off until you’re ready to use your phone.
- Make a checklist of things you want or need to accomplish before you check your phone.
- Keep your phone somewhere out of sight so that you’re not tempted to use it until you’re ready.
Pick up a new hobby
Think about all the time you spend on your phone and then imagine putting that time toward a hobby. Consider reading books or going on walks around your neighborhood. You can try a new hobby or pick up an old one. The idea is that you spend time doing something that nurtures your soul. For me, that often means doing an activity with my kids that I wouldn’t otherwise “have time” for.
It’s easier than you think to spend less time on your smartphone and more time taking care of YOU.
It often takes just a few small changes to make a significant improvement in your life. If you feel that your overall well-being could benefit from spending less time on your phone, I challenge you to use these tips and make a change.