Many smartphone users spend an average of five hours every day on their mobile devices. Although a lot of physical and psychological damage has been linked to the obsessive use of smartphones, most people still tend to underestimate the effects. Excessive use of smartphones can cause headache, impaired site and concentration, fatigue, defective memory, amongst other adverse side effects.
If you worry that you spend too much time using your smartphone, there are simple actions you can take to help you have a more healthy smartphone experience. Here are ten tips to curb the excessive use of your smartphone.
1. Disable social media notifications
There is every chance that you would pick up your phone whenever you hear the notification sound. Turning off notifications from social media and other apps would reduce your engagement in them while you are busy, thereby making you less distracted.
2. Remove apps from the home screen
The site of the apps themselves can trigger you to use them, and this could happen when you probably want to check the time display on your home screen. Instead of having all your apps display on your home screen, you can neatly arrange them in folders according to their functions.
You can also use the search method, where you keep all your apps in one folder to access them only by typing the app name in the search bar. This way, you wouldn’t be tempted to open an app just by seeing it display on the background.
3. Identify the apps that take most of your time
Knowing the apps that take most of your time puts you in a better position to handle your phone usage. To do this, you have to take note of when, how and why you use your certain apps. Apps like “Moment to track” can help you identify where most of your phone time goes to. However, you can also check your battery usage in your phone setting for a glance of the apps that get most of your time
4. Using “Do not disturb” features
The “Do not disturb” feature is a prevalent one on mobile phones nowadays. You can set it at any specific time frame of your choice. Depending on how you set it, this feature can block all notification, incoming calls and text messages.
Unlike turning off your phone or putting it on flight mode, this feature allows you to set any of your contacts as “favourite” so that they can get through to you in cases of emergency
5. Leave Smartphone behind
If you notice your phone keeps you distracted when having a conversation, you can consider leaving your smartphone at home when next you’re going out on a date or have launch with someone.
You can take a smaller and less distracting phone along with you in case there’s an emergency call. This way, you get to establish a real connection in your conversation. However, if you cannot leave your smartphone at home, you can also consider setting it on do not disturb during your discussion.
6. Create a usage schedule
Creating a schedule can help you check the obsessive usage of your phone. If you notice you check your phone almost every minute, set an alarm that helps you start and stop the use.
You can start with every 15 minutes, and then gradually increase it to half an hour, every 45 minutes and so forth. Once your alarm sounds, spend a minute or two going through all notifications before resetting the timer.
Furthermore, you may become anxious about responding to messages from loved once. To reduce this anxiety, inform your close friends and family that you may not be able to reply to their messages on time.
7. Put your device away from your bed
Most people don’t get enough sleep because of excess phone usage, and this habit can cause a lot of physical and psychological damage. To prevent this, avoid setting your wakeup alarm on your phone, you can use a regular alarm clock while you charge your phone somewhere out of reach. This way, your phone doesn’t become the last thing you see at night and the first thing you use in the morning.
8. Try turning on your phone’s grayscale
The grayscale feature on a smartphone makes your screen less appealing to look at, which is an excellent way to curb the time you spend on your smartphone. This method is most useful to make distracting apps look less desirable when you are busy. However, you may need to turn it off whenever you need to use Maps or your phone camera.
9. Make use of other devices
Embracing other devices can reduce the temptation of using your phone. Consider getting a regular alarm clock instead of using your phone. You can also get a wristwatch to wear during the day.
The smart speaker is also a handy tool to limit your phone use. If you see less reason to pick up your phone, the chances of accidentally getting sucked in unrelated screen activities become minimal.
10. Get a smart speaker
Smart speakers such as Google’s Home products or Amazon Echo helps you spend less screen time and also limit your smartphone use. With a smart speaker, you can play music and podcasts, and even access answer all necessary questions with your voice. Using a smart speaker can help you keep your smartphone out of hands for long.