March 30, 2022
As we move into this new season, our theme for April is Spring Cleaning—cleaning our hearts and minds of that which does not serve us well. We are asking ourselves, what small changes can we make to reduce the distractions, clutter, negative thought, bad habits, etc. that are affecting our ability to be our best selves? There are an endless number of “self-improvement” topics that we could focus on; but for this month’s blog we are going to explore one thing that, if we are being honest with ourselves, most of us are guilty of: a fixation with our phones.
“I feel overwhelmed.”
“I feel like I am not good enough.”
“I feel busy, but not productive.”
“I feel distracted.”
“I feel addicted.”
Raise your hand if any of these statements sound familiar. How often do these feelings relate back, in one way or another, to that shiny little computer that you carry in your pocket? Probably more often than you even realize.
The average American spends over four hours a day on their smart phone (a 30% increase from pre-pandemic days). That means we are spending a quarter of our waking hours staring at that little screen, totaling nearly two full months a year (yikes!). Over half of all Americans report feeling addicted to their phones and 70% check their phones within 10 minutes of waking in the morning. It’s also worth noting that seven out of every 10 minutes on a mobile device is spent on social media or a photo/video app.
Not all of the time spent on your phone is hurting you, of course. Using your phone to communicate is a necessary part of life and work. Phones keep us connected and informed (chances are, you are reading this blog from your phone right now). They can improve our efficiency, and they provide a lot of conveniences (hello ordering dinner from the palm of my hand). But when overused, smartphones can have a negative effect on our productivity, as well as our emotional well-being. Notification beeps hinder our focus, and comparisons on social media can trigger feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. All of that scrolling clutters our minds, affecting our sleep, our relationships, and our health.
So, now that we’ve admitted that we have a problem on our hands (literally), what do we do about it? Well, the good news is our phone use is a habit. And in the same way that habits can be formed, they can also be broken.
Below are eight easy tips for reducing your average screen time to improve your work, productivity, relationships and mental clarity.
Screens aren’t a bad thing. The key is to not let them get the best of us.
What if for the month of April we reduced our daily phone time by just 20 minutes? That adds up to 10 hours over the month.
How could we spend that time differently? Outdoors. Focused on friends & family (the actual person, not the Instagram version). Moving our bodies (we are a little biased toward this option). Or just slowing down and focusing on what’s directly in front of us.
Perhaps it’s time to do a little spring cleaning and find out.
Have you successfully implemented strategies to manage your screen time? How has it impacted your mind and body? Please share your tips & tricks with the rest of us by leaving a comment below!
App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 Report.
Reviews.org Proprietary Survey Conducted December 2021.
Elitecontentmarketer.com. “Screen Time Statistics 2021: Your Smartphone is Hurting You.”