Today, we do almost anything you can think of through the use of screens. Shopping, socializing, meeting with friends, writing, working, even painting, reading a book, entertaining, exercising, and much more. Are we aware of the damage that we cause ourselves by such intense exposure to screens? Moreover, do we know that excessive screen time not only affects our body’s health but also reduces our productivity as well? Let's take a look and see how we can reduce screen time responsibly.
Effects of Overdose Screen Time on Our Body
Screen time overdosing has numerous negative effects on us both physically and mentally. According to a CNN article, most Americans spend half of each day on screens. The numbers are so shocking. Although you may think that this is a necessity of modern times, uncontrolled screen time results in more damage than one may realize.
The most widely known and proven damaging result in high exposure to screen time is that it causes obesity. Moreover, as you can guess, screens directly affect our eyes. The short wavelength and blue light of screens can cause eye strain. Furthermore, sleep quality is also directly affected. The blue light that screens produce stimulates our body and hormone levels which help us sleep actually decreases. So our sleep and it’s quality go south as well.
For all the above reasons, it is important to reduce screen time not only to be more productive but also for our overall wellbeing over the long run. Here are some suggestions on how to reduce screen time.
1. Observe Your Screen Time
If you do not know where to start in reducing your time in front of a screen, first start off by paying attention to how much you time you are actually in front of a screen. Maybe you can not exactly measure the time you spend watching TV, but you can make a note about when you sat down in front of it. Most probably most of your time is spent on your smartphone. You can go to your smartphone’s settings options and you will likely find an option for ‘digital balance’. There are various apps that also offer this tool if your phone doesn’t have the option. Using such an app can show you how much time you spend on the phone in a day and which apps you use the most. After you determine how much time you spend, you can begin reducing it.
2. Remove and Organize Apps
When you find out which apps you spend the most time on, you can first try limiting the use of these apps only during working hours. Another option could be to delete it completely as well which is digital minimalism. You could also begin by deleting apps one at a time. You will immediately recognize that your productivity is increased. Also, you will probably feel more energetic and serene. In addition to all, organize and folder your apps by categories. This will be helpful in preventing you from surfing more than necessary.
3. Set Your Alarm to Reduce Screen Time
Setting an alarm is a good solution to help reduce screen time. You can set an alarm for 10 p.m. and when it goes off, switch your TV and mobile phone off. This will prevent your body from being stimulated with an overdose of blue light and your body will start releasing melatonin Basically, your sleep quality will improve and your sleeping hormone levels will stabilize. Furthermore, your productivity also will increase indirectly because of improved sleeping quality.
4. Turn Off Notifications to Be More Productive
Notifications are one of the most distracting things in our lives. Most of us know that, when a notification comes out of nowhere, it immediately gets our attention. Whether it's a like on Instagram or a comment on Facebook, the desire to know what it is inevitable increases. So disabling notifications and checking them out in your free time is also a good option to reduce screen time and increase productivity correspondingly.
5. Schedule Your E-mail Times
This tip may seem quite challenging since we live in a world where everything goes on by e-mail. But just like pop-up notifications, responding to each mail as soon as possible also interrupts our attention. That’s why scheduling when you pay attention to emails is another helpful way to reduce your overall screen use. You may think that it does not make sense during working hours in terms of reducing screen time since we work on computers. However, by better managing and limiting your time on screen, you will find that your productivity increases. In addition to that, this habit will influence your daily life and you start to check the screen less often.
6. Eat Away From the TV and Your Mobile Phone
Since it is a very well-known fact that eating in front of the TV causes obesity, being away from all screens while eating and giving your full attention to what you eat is an important thing for your wellbeing. Moreover, mindful eating may lead us to enjoy each taste. You may start to realize exactly what you eating because you are paying more attention to it instead of being distracted by whatever is on the screen. Furthermore, once you notice what you eat, this can help you set aside a special time for eating as well. Automatically your screen time will be reduced. In addition to those things mentioned, giving yourself a break to eat renews your energy and concentration and you will be more efficient when you get back to what you were doing.
7. Find a Hobby Without any Screen
It is undeniable that we spend most of our spare time on the screen -whether it be lying on the sofa or in front of the TV. If we encourage ourselves to reduce screen time, we may discover a new hobby. Spending some time on that hobby is one more way to improve ourselves as well as reduce overall screen time.