These days it’s undeniable that devices rule our waking lives. From getting stuck in a YouTube rabbit hole until the early hours watching walkthroughs, the almost magnetic pull of our smartphones pinging with constant notifications, to the lure of our gaming computer after a stressful day, it can be easy to find yourself out of balance. And although electronics bring a lot of positive benefits to our lives, there is undeniably a downside when we use them a little too much, or for the wrong reasons. So if you’ve found yourself late for an appointment because you were stuck on Spider-Man: Far From Home or not getting enough sleep because you’re scrolling away on Wombat’s jackpot payouts then you know it’s definitely time to change your ways and come up with some solid strategies to limit your screen time. Two hours per day is the limit recommended by experts to maximize your personal happiness – so how can you make progress towards this?
Ban Electronics From The Bedroom
The first and most important step is purging your bedroom of electronic devices. Screens emit blue light, which disrupts our bodies natural production of melatonin, a hormone which tells our bodies and brains that it’s time to sleep. Practicing good sleep hygiene is essential – when we don’t get enough sleep it affects everything from our moods and our ability to concentrate to our willpower and our food consumption. When we have gaming consoles, televisions, tablets or phones with us in the bedroom it can quickly prevent us getting the quality and duration of sleep that we need to function optimally.
Start An Electronics Drawer
If you live with a roommate, a partner or even have children who also need help limiting their screen time, then a useful idea is to create an ‘electronics drawer’ or a box which you can secure. Place all your devices inside at an agreed time, and only unlock the box or drawer when you hit your arranged screen time. Just the act of having to physically remove your device from another location can be enough to make you think twice about it, and if you really need to be using it at that moment in time.
Take Regular Screen Breaks
When you’re gaming it can be very easy to get drawn into an intense battle or adventure. Although it is very tempting to sit in front of the screen all day long, you need to take regular screen breaks. Whether you go for a walk outside, make a cup of coffee or turn off the screen for a while, you need to factor this into your habitual gaming time. You also might want to invest in no glare glasses, this will help your eyes when you are staring at the screen Without the correct protective eyewear you may struggle with blurred vision and headaches in the future.
Book In A Weekend Detox
If it’s all getting too much and you’re concerned that you aren’t regulating your screen time as well as you should be, then perhaps it’s time to try a digital detox, where you tackle one evening a week or a weekend completely screen-free. This can be quite a steep challenge if you’re used to interacting continuously with multiple devices! You can easily download apps which limit your screen time to help with the challenge, or just decide on a wilderness weekend where you can get back to nature somewhere with no WiFi signal. Usually, these things get easier the more you practice them and you’ll often find the clear headed feelings you get with no electronic interruptions can make you feel much fresher and ready to take on the world.