7 Easy Ways to Spend Less Time on Your Phone

You can have too much of a good thing—including your phone.

As useful as our phones are, there a lot of downsides to too much screen time, from sleep problems to actual brain damage and beyond. This isn't to scare you—it's simply a reminder to consider how much time you spend on your phone each day and think about how you can limit it. It's not as hard as you might think, either. There are a lot of ways to scale back.

Keep reading for seven easy ways to spend less time on your phone:

Quantify Your Screen Time

There's knowing you spend a lot of time on your phone, and then there'knowing exactly how many hours and minutes it is. When iPhone introduced Screen Time, many of us got a rude awakening. There it was in cold hard numbers: our average weekly minutes spent on our phones.

Pretty Little Liars' Emily on her phone

(Pretty Little Liars via Freeform)

Awkward as the realization may be, it's good to know where you stand. That way, you can see the apps that suck up the highest percentages of your time and plan how to scale back. Instagram, for example, will show you your daily average and let you set a reminder for the number of minutes you choose. Maybe you don't really need to watch all of those adorable puppy videos.

 

Put Your Phone Down

This may sound obvious, but a lot of us are guilty of carrying our phones everywhere, even around our own houses. The problem is that when we do that, they're a lot harder to ignore. Instead of keeping your phone on you at all times, try putting it in a resting place when you don't actually need it. For example, if you're going to be doing homework in your living room, leave your phone in your bedroom. We bet you'll find that you're way more productive.

Girl scrolling through her phone on bed at night.

(via Shutterstock)

 

Tuck Your Phone in for the Night

You're definitely not alone if you often find yourself mindlessly messing around on your phone while lying in bed. Unfortunately, the habit can keep you awake, cutting into your much-needed sleep. One thing to try is tucking your phone in for the night while you get yourself ready for bed. If you leave it in another room or put it away in one of your drawers before getting under the covers, you may just find yourself catching extra Z's.

 

Set Phone-Free Hours

Bedtime isn't the only time you can make phone-free. Challenge yourself to go without your phone during set times each day, and then avoid checking it during that window. Start with an amount of time that feels reasonable to you—even if it's just 15 minutes to start—and then build up from there.

Girl reading a book while leaning against a tree

(via Shutterstock)

 

Make Time for Non-Screen Hobbies

Fill your time with non-phone-related activities. It can be anything that you find fun, whether that be drawing, reading, kicking a soccer ball around the backyard or something else entirely. Just get to it.

 

Call Instead of Text

Call anxiety is real, but it doesn't get any easier if you don't practice. You might prefer texting, but let's face it: Conversations can be so much more efficient when no one has to type anything. As a bonus, nobody has to look at their screen, either!

Jess confused while talking on the phone in an episode of New Girl

(New Girl via Fox)

 

Plan More Face-to-Face Interactions

Much of the time we're on our phones, we're connecting with other people, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness points out. (Think about it: We're scrolling through social media, texting, playing games with online opponents, etc.) The organization advises seeking out actual face-to-face interactions instead. Not only will it help keep us off our phones, it's generally better for our mental health.

 

You're not alone if you're attached to your phone. Click HERE to see our favorite funny and relatable cell phone memes.