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Digital detox: 29 effective tips to reduce your screen time

You want to do a digital detox, reduce your screen time, and experience more in the real world? Then you’re in the right place. We have compiled numerous ideas for you on how to spend less time in front of the screen.

Reduce Screen Time: These Tricks Will Help You with Digital Detox

  1. Go back to using paper: Take a pen and paper to do things you usually do on the screen. For example, you can get a great notebook from Moleskine or Leuchtturm.
  2. Stay away from endless feeds: Avoid endless feeds found on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, news sites, or YouTube, designed to keep you glued to the screen. Stay away from these time-consuming distractions and enjoy the gained life time.
  3. Set specific times to check your messages: If you catch yourself checking messages every five minutes, consciously set specific times for it. This not only reduces screen time but also enhances concentration.
  4. Use the automatic on/off functions of your smartphone: Many models allow you to set time windows for your phone to automatically turn off and on. Use this function to give yourself screen-free time from evening to morning.
  5. Create smartphone-free zones in different rooms of your home: For example, banish your smartphone from the bedroom to promote restful sleep. This minimizes the chance of screen time before bedtime and helps you relax better.
  6. Consciously put away your smartphone when you’re together: Be present when spending time with others and put your smartphone aside. Whether at dinner or in the bar, put your smartphone in your bag or leave it at home. This not only reduces your screen time but also promotes social interactions and mindfulness in the moment.
  7. Adopt screen-free leisure activities: Choose activities that take you away from the screen. While video games, Netflix, and blogging are entertaining, they keep you glued to the screen. Explore hobbies that are screen-free, such as hiking, cooking, building Lego sets, or painting. The possibilities are endless and allow you to enjoy your time away from screens.
  8. Replace online shopping with real shopping: Instead of just shopping online, visit local stores and support your community. This not only saves time in front of the screen but also contributes to maintaining local jobs and strengthening the local economy. Take the opportunity to discover and support the diversity of products and services in your area.
  9. Listen to music analog-style: Instead of scrolling through countless Spotify playlists, take the time to listen to music in analog format. Put on a vinyl record or a CD and appreciate the artistic work that goes into producing an album. Immerse yourself in the conscious and immersive experience that listening to physical music carriers offers and enjoy the commitment and dedication that artists put into their albums.
  10. Be social again: Let’s be honest, social media has made people more antisocial. Instead of scrolling through social networks and giving likes to posts from people you haven’t seen in years, make plans to meet and interact with people in the real world. This takes you away from the screen and is good for your well-being.
  11. Take a book with you: Many people who use public transportation or need to pass the time often reach for their smartphones. Instead, bring a good book (or a space-saving e-reader) with you and enrich yourself.
  12. Leave the phone at home: Many people can’t imagine life without their smartphones, fearing they might miss out on something. In reality, they often miss out on real life. For example, observe those who experience entire concerts only through their screens or friends who are together, yet each one stares at their phone. Consciously try leaving your smartphone at home and rediscover the world around you more consciously. This allows you to experience moments more intensely and concentrate better on the present moment… and also helps reduce your screen time.
  13. Call instead of text: Often, things can be clarified much faster with a call than with countless text messages going back and forth. This not only makes you more efficient but also reduces the time spent in front of the screen.
  14. Use apps as helpers: If you have little self-discipline and spend more time on your smartphone than intended, there are solutions. If you like it playful, you should try the app “Forest” (Android + iOS). If you need a good blocking app for smartphone, tablet, and desktop, then “Freedom” is the right choice for you.
  15. Screen breaks during work: Incorporate regular digital detox breaks in the form of screen breaks during work. This gives your eyes and brain time to relax, and you’ll feel refreshed afterward. Also, try to complete tasks without using a screen. For example, instead of doing brainstorming in a word processing program, just take a sheet of paper and jot down your ideas.
  16. Screen-free days or evenings: Consciously take complete breaks from the screen. For example, set aside one digital detox evening a week where you don’t use the screen after 6 PM, or try spending an entire day without a screen once a month. If you don’t want to be completely screen-free, you can simply limit the time or allow yourself only certain activities.
  17. Turn off notifications: Many digital companies have an interest in you spending as much time in front of the screen as possible. Notifications are an excellent tool for this. Whether a small LED suddenly blinks, the smartphone display briefly shows a message, or an annoying sound breaks the silence – all these little disturbances just want you to pick up your smartphone again. Take decisive action and mute your smartphone and turn off notifications.
  18. On-site course instead of online course: While it’s great that there are many online courses now, allowing you to learn almost anything conveniently and flexibly from home, the downside is that it adds extra hours in front of the screen. An alternative could be attending a course in person or delving into a topic with the help of books.
  19. Get an analog watch: Having an analog watch makes it easier to keep track of time without resorting to your smartphone and succumbing to the temptation of using it.
  20. Self-discipline: Strengthening self-discipline to reduce screen time: In today’s era, many find it challenging to simply pause and let their thoughts flow freely. Instead, they quickly open the next feed in the browser, and boredom is gone. The downside: This habit affects your ability to concentrate and increases the time spent in front of the screen. Try to improve your self-discipline, and one way is through meditation.
  21. Avoid fitness apps: While fitness apps offer many cool features, they also keep you in front of the screen longer. Instead, you could develop your own fitness routine and train without the need for a smartphone.
  22. Navigate analog-style again: If you enjoy navigating with Google Maps, set yourself a challenge and try reaching your destination analog-style. Jot down your stages on a post-it note, and off you go.
  23. Bundle your screen time: One way to spend less time on the screen is to consciously bundle your screen time and stay away from screens outside of that designated time.
  24. Plan your screen time: Plan your screen time and precisely determine what tasks you want to accomplish on the screen and how much time you allocate for each task. This way, you can focus on what needs to be done and avoid drifting off, spending more time on the screen than you’d like.
  25. Set screen-free challenges: Use playful approaches to reduce your screen time and commit to your digital detox. Set a goal, for example, to spend only x hours in total on the screen during your free time for a week. If you achieve this goal, reward yourself with something special.
  26. Plan your day: We often waste time on the screen because we’re simply bored. One way to get away from the screen is to plan the day to avoid “time killers” and schedule enough activities outside the screen.
  27. Monochrome instead of color: You can reduce the allure of screens by setting the colors to monochrome instead of color. Smartphones from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Apple have corresponding settings you can use.
  28. Use a dumbphone: You can significantly reduce the allure of your smartphone by swapping it for a so-called “dumbphone.” This is a phone that offers only basic functions. An example of this is the Light Phone.
  29. Banish your smartphone to another room: A pretty effective trick to avoid using your smartphone is simply to place it in another room. This way, you don’t see it constantly and can resist the temptation to “check” your smartphone much better.

Digital Detox: These Benefits Await You When You Reduce Your Screentime

  1. When you consciously plan your screen time and don’t constantly let screens distract you, you can focus better.
  2. Reducing your evening screen time also promotes good sleep.
  3. Consciously avoiding bridging your boredom with screen time enhances your creativity and gives your brain the opportunity to let thoughts flow.
  4. Less screen time is also good for your eyes as they experience less fatigue. You’ll feel more alert overall by spending less time in front of the screen.
  5. We often spend a lot of screentime watching negative news and unconsciously comparing ourselves to others. Being less exposed to these negative impulses can also improve your mood through Digital Detox.
  6. The time you spend in front of the screen is time spent in the real world and in real life. You can better utilize your life, create memories, and simply make more out of your limited lifetime.

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