Picture this- you had a pretty long and tiring day at college, and after you came back home, the first thing you did was check your phone intending to just reply to your messages for 5 minutes, but it was 30 minutes before you even realized! You hurriedly put your phone down to go freshen up, then ate your meal while watching a video on your phone again, and then finally wrapped up the day to go to bed. Now, it’s past midnight and you are lying on your bed, still scrolling through social media mindlessly, killing both your sleep and productivity. If this scenario resonates with you deeply, then it’s about time we tackled this addiction together.

Tip #1: Be aware of your screen time

The first step in breaking free from the shackles of excessive screentime is becoming aware. Many of us underestimate the hours we spend glued to our devices, inadvertently sacrificing most of the valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. We can begin by monitoring our screen time which is available on most smartphones to view their daily usage. You can take notes of the apps that consume the most time and assess whether they align with our priorities. If you can acknowledge these habits, then you have already tackled this addiction halfway!

Tip #2: Make new goals

Now that you have gained awareness of your screentime habits, the next step is to take effective action. Instead of attempting to abruptly cut off from your usage of phone, a rather less drastic and more effective measure in the long-term would be to reduce your screen time gradually. You can try reducing your screen time by 10-15 minutes initially, and then gradually extend this duration until you find a balance which aligns with your priorities.

Tip #3: Make use of screen time tools

Even if technology can be an addiction, it’s reassuring to know that the same technology can be used to curb exceeding screen time, i.e. by the use of screen time tools. Most devices allow us to not only monitor but also control the screen time. You can set daily limits on specific apps and also receive notifications when you approach your designated screen time.

Tip #3 Turn-off unimportant notifications

Usually, we are tempted to open social media when we receive a notification from the particular app, whether it be a message from our friends or a new post by our favorite actor. Turning off these unimportant notifications will help curb our phone addiction to an extent.

Tip #4 Do it with a friend

It is always more fun to take on a challenge when we have someone participating with us. You can check amongst your friends who wish to reduce their screen time just like you, and set common goals with them. Upon achieving these goals, you and your friend can both rejoice and celebrate your milestones with a small treat, that can motivate you to progress further on your journey.

This journey to break free from excessive screen time is both rewarding and empowering. If you embrace these tips with commitment, then you will witness the positivity spread across as you reclaim your time and focus on more mindful activities. Remember, take it one step at a time.