Currently, almost everything in this world revolves around a screen – from assignments, Zoom staff meetings, FaceTime playdates to virtual workouts — not to mention the endless push notifications with the latest coronavirus news. It’s hard not to be on these devices all day, and although it is imperative to stay connected, after so many weeks of quarantine, the added digital load is unavoidable and the burnout is real.
It’s time to really look at our screen habits and try to figure out what we want our boundaries and routines to look like with our devices. Check out these tips. You may find that cutting down the time on your phone makes you more productive and makes you feel more present in the real world.
1. Track your screen time
Most phones have the ability to track the amount of time you spend on your device. You can also get them to send you a weekly report with a breakdown of what you’re spending time on. It’s understandable that you may want to invest a certain amount of time every day to use social media but often times things get out of hand! Having a way to track where your time is going will help you get clearer in terms of your priorities.
- Roomi Tip: Instead of carrying your phone in your pocket all the time, try creating a charging station for your phone.
2. Turn off push notifications
Except for maybe your calls, text messages, work priorities, and your alarms and calendar, turning off the constant buzzes and pings especially from apps like Instagram and Facebook can really help.
Thanks to social media, we no longer have to wait for our 10-year reunion to see how our classmates are doing. But despite it making us feel connected in small doses, we also tend to feel bad afterward for a lot of comparisons come in.
If that’s you, maybe you don’t want to have social media on your home screen. Maybe you want to delete it entirely and then just reinstall it when you actually want to check. That’s going to help you reduce the number of mindless scrolls that you get sucked into.
3. Block distracting websites
Create a schedule blocking sites that you browse while on your computer, especially during work hours. Be it social media, Netflix, or even the news, restricting the amount of time especially during work hours can increase productivity and help you get things done faster.
Although it may feel more “efficient” to eat lunch at your computer, your brain will thank you for taking a break from the screen. Eat lunch while chatting with your family members in the kitchen, looking out the window, or reading a physical book. Consider going for a walk (sans phone) during your lunch break, too.
- P.S.- Video calls sometimes carry extra fatigue, because focusing on multiple faces at the same time while also being fairly presentable can create an added layer of mental and emotional exhaustion. So you don’t have to treat Zoom calls as an automated response. If a phone call would work fine for a conversation, use that. If you can efficiently communicate what you need via email or through updating a shared document, do that. Just because you can use video, doesn’t mean you should.
By being more mindful about the time we spend in front of our screens, we can reduce stress and stop feeling like we’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next. It’s very helpful to experiment with taking breaks from your devices. You might find it to be more restorative and necessary than you realized!