We're drawn to our technology screens and the blue light they emit like a moth to a flame, knowing deep down that too much time in front of the pixels can have a negative impact. If we are trapped under its spell, we tend to waste an average of 5 to 6 hours a day, simply scrolling, liking, and clicking.
What's more, not only does excessive screen time harm our productivity, but it can also have long-term implications on our physical and mental health. Health experts even warn of the dangers associated with too much screen time, and that's why it's important to recognize how much time we spend in front of our screens and to set healthy limits.
Why You Should Reduce Screen Time
The American Psychological Association defines technology addiction as excessive and obsessive use of digital devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles, that interferes with daily life.
Not only can overuse of technology lead to physical and mental health issues, but it can also affect relationships with family and friends. Knowing how to reduce screen time can help to lower the risks associated with technology addiction, and can help you reap many benefits in return.
6 Benefits Of Reducing Screen Time
Here are some of the key advantages of reducing screen time:
1. Lower Stress
Constant exposure to screens creates additional stress on your nervous system as well as the increased production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Research conducted by the Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences shows that these negative changes can manifest as mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and even low self-esteem. Making a conscious effort to be mindful and take breaks from technology can help to lower stress levels by reducing the amount of cortisol in your body.
2. Improved Sleep Habits
The blue light emitted from our screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Over time, this can lead to insomnia and other sleep-related issues. Establishing an unplugged nighttime routine can help to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
3. Better Focus & Brain Functioning
Our brains weren't built for multitasking, so it's important to create boundaries around technology use. When we spend too much time on our devices, the brain is unable to focus on one task and this can lead to a decrease in overall productivity.
Plus, with the rise of short and captivating videos (ahem, TikTok 👀), our attention span deteriorates, our impulse control weakens, and our cognitive function declines over time. Reducing screen time can help us to refocus our attention on the task at hand, increasing productivity and improving our cognitive function.
4. Physical Health Awareness
Whether relaxing in a chair or your bed, spending extended periods in front of a screen can have a lasting negative impact on our well-being. It's easy to become sedentary when we're trapped in the screen time cycle, and this can lead to neck and back issues, weight gain, and other physical health problems. Plus, a sedentary lifestyle can open up to cardiovascular issues, such as hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Reduce screen time, and get up to move around often to stave off any physical health issues.
5. Free Time
Do you ever find yourself scrolling through social media without even realizing it? Do you log in to your emails and get sucked into the digital vortex? Do you feel like life is just passing you by? Reduce your screen time so you can make the most of your time and do something meaningful. Try spending quality time with family, reading a book, or taking up a hobby you've been wanting to pursue.
6. Improved Productivity At Work
It's a digital world. We rely on our devices to stay connected with colleagues and clients, check emails, share documents and collaborate on projects. You should use your devices as a tool to stay connected and move the needle forward, rather than letting them distract you from getting work done, resulting in you feeling overwhelmed at work. Increase overall productivity and your career's success by reducing screen time and using technology strategically.
How To Reduce Screen Time
Understanding how to reduce screen time and prioritize meaningful activities isn't easy. Here are some tips and the best apps to reduce screen time:
1. Track Screen Time
How can you reduce something if you don't know how much time you're spending on it? Tracking your screen time can give you insight into how much (and when) you're using your devices. Focus Report allows you to monitor your device usage with clear metrics and block certain apps to reduce screen time during designated periods.
2. Switch Off Notifications
Notifications are the biggest distraction. They are a small-sized temptation that can lead to an hour (or more) of mindless scrolling. By triggering FOMO (fear of missing out), they can lead to an unhealthy cycle of distraction.
Reduce interruptions by switching off notifications and keeping your focus on the task at hand. Opal allows you to block notifications from video, social or news apps so you can stay focused. Or if you want to kick it up a notch, you can use Do Not Disturb in addition to your Focus Session so you won't get any notifications at all!
3. Measure Your Focus
Now that you've established a routine and blocked off distractions, it's time to measure your focus. With Focus Score, you can track your productivity levels while offering helpful insights such as your most used app, so you can easily see what's distracting you from completing your tasks.
4. Block Apps In Your Phone
Sometimes you need a little extra help in managing your time and staying focused. With Opal, you can block apps on your iPhone or Google Chrome with ease. And if the app is not on our block list, here's how you can block any app on IOS within a few simple steps. Blocking apps to reduce screen time can help you stay on task and achieve your goals.
Make The Most Out Of Every Day With Our Technology
Technology is a tool and can be a great asset in helping you achieve your goals. However, no matter how much technology has infiltrated our lives, it's important to remember that there is no replacement for a healthy mind and body.
Reduce screen time with effective methods, such as tracking your device usage, switching off notifications, measuring your focus, and blocking apps to become more mindful of your tech habits.
Ready to take control of your time? Get Opal, the #1 Screen Time App and block pesky distractions while refocusing on the things that matter.