How To Reduce Screen Time

Gulp, I think we’re all guilty of being at least just a little addicted to our devices, aren’t we? I mean, even as someone with super healthy boundaries around social media and devices, I still find myself phantom thumbing around my screen when I’m bored. 

Look, there’s no shame in our collective addiction- let’s just all work on being a little *better* about our use of screens, shall we? Because, we got in this together, so maybe we can get out of it together too. 

The most important thing to remember is not to be too hard on yourself when you have slip ups, or days with high screen time. You can always start over the next day. Hell, even the next hour or minute. 

The point is just to start. 

Today’s post is going to share a round-up of my top 11 tips on how to reduce screen time so that we can all be a little more present in our daily lives. 

Practice more wellness tips like cultivating a morning routine, learning how to get grounded, or the art of doing nothing in the wellness section of my blog

How To Reduce Screen Time

How To Reduce Screen Time

This is a big topic to tackle, but luckily there are quite a few simple swaps and hacks that can reduce screen time pretty dang easily. 

Like any new habit, it’s going to take time for you to get used to these adjustments, so be patient with yourself. And make sure you’re consistent in your efforts so that you can really stay the course. 

You’ve got this.

Create A Morning Routine

First up, it’s important to start your day the right way with a solid (but simple!) morning routine. You can learn more about my morning routine HERE, but feel free to create your own that’s suited to your needs. 

Try to keep it simple so as not to overwhelm your system by remembering five thousand steps. You want to make sure you create a morning routine that you can actually do every day, rather than something huge that’s unattainable long term. 

Use this time to be fully off of your phone (if you can). Or, at the very least, create a routine that doesn’t include emails, social media, or texting.

Create A Night Time Routine

The thing is that our nighttime routine is really what sets up our day, so I guess it should come before the morning routine. Oh well, you get the point. 

Especially if you struggle with getting quality sleep, then you’ll want to make sure you’re looking at your screen time usage in your wind down portion of the day. If you have to be on your screen at night, then at least turn your screen red so it’s not as stimulating for your eyes. 

Learn how to turn your screen red in this post.

Swap Texting For Voice Notes

Texting is so passe, isn’t it? Honestly, it kind of drives me nuts. Plus, getting voice notes from your friends is like sharing little mini podcasts or therapy sessions, which is always fun. And, what’s even better is that you can hear the sound of their voice, so there’s less room for ambiguity. 

One of the things I really love about voice notes is that it can be a hands-free and screen-free way to connect, which is really helpful for me because I’m usually walking my dog when I get back to messages. 

kayla in water

Listen To More Podcasts

I love podcasts, truly. And I’m also like whyyyy are the big podcasts starting to turn to all video format?! Ugh, it’s that Tiktok life taking over the world, I swear.

Okay, I know it can be tempting to watch your favorite podcasts on Youtube, but remember we’re trying to get less screen time…not more! Stick to the audio version.  

I also love the audio version, because you’re hands-free again, so you can multitask while you listen- rather than needing to sit in one place and stare at screen to see what’s going on.

Listen To Audio Books

While we’re on the topic of listening, let’s talk about audio books. I know that audio learning isn’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who reads from a screen like a Kindle or an iPad, then try to listen to at least some of your books. 

Look, the Kindle is great, because it’s not backlit like an iPad. But if it’s dark, then that still means blasting blue light from somewhere so that you can see. And blue light is just as stimulating as your phone screen. 

Read Hard Copy Books

If you’re not into the audio book set up, then try to invest in more hard copy books. If you’re a big reader, then even just like one out of four books being hard copy is helpful on your eyes. 

Again, the Kindle is great, because it’s not backlit. But just try to be mindful of how often you’re reading with the light on as you’re also working on your nighttime routine with less stimulus.

Check out my favorite books HERE.

Use A Hard Copy Journal

You all know how much I love the 5 Minute Journal, and I’ve been using it for years. I do, however, usually use the app, because of how much I travel. 

If you’re getting wayyyyy too much screen time, then buying a hard copy journal is a great way to reduce your screen time, because you can use it for journaling, but you can also use it to write lists and all the things you’d typically write in your notes app. 

Set Time Limits On Your Apps

I love that Apple has the feature of setting time limits on apps. Although it is pretty easy to just swipe or scroll right past the alert once it’s gone off. 

This is where you’ll need to practice discipline and self-control. Even though you can easily ignore the timer that goes off, make the choice to keep the promises to yourself. This will help to build confidence. 

Learn more about building confidence in this post HERE.

Go Outside More

Nature really does heal most things, doesn’t it? Don’t believe me? That’s probably a sign you need to get outside more often. 

Whether you take time to go to the park, or just do a few laps around your neighborhood- a little fresh air and natural light is one of the best ways to reset your nervous system. And it’s even better when you do it without screens. 

If you have to bring your phone on your walk, then listen to something, rather than look at the screen. Better yet, leave your phone behind so you can be with yourself and your thoughts for a real moving meditation. 

How To Reduce Screen Time

Do Phoneless Activities

I know that phoneless activities are just about non-existent nowadays, but remember that you can actually make any activity phoneless by choice. 

Sometimes that means physically leaving your phone behind so that it won’t distract you, while other times it means keeping it on airplane mode so at least it’s not buzzing every 3 seconds. 

I also love water activities like swimming or surfing, because you obviously can’t bring your phone in the water with you. Or, going to some place without service- like a big hike or a scenic drive- so that you don’t have the option to look at the screen.

Socialize Without Phones

This is huge for me. There’s nothing worse than being at a meal with someone, and they pull out their phone mid-conversation, right? I mean, no one wants to be those people in a restaurant who are holed up in the corner with a beautiful spread of food, but not talking to each other because you’re both on the phone.

When you connect with your friends, try to do so without your phones. Maybe that means leaving your phone in a basket or a drawer before the meal, or leaving it in your purse totally zipped away. 

Trust me, you won’t die if you don’t Google that random fact that came up, and you’ll survive if you don’t get a photo of the food (okay, I’m guilty of always getting the food pic…it’s just so pretty, I can’t help it). 

The point is that with a little self-awareness, a lot of self-control, and regular constituency- we can build new habits that involve less screen time. 

How To Reduce Screen Time

Let me know which tip has helped you reduce your screen time use in the comments below!



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