So, I’m not big on “New Year Resolutions” because I feel like you can change whenever you want to – heck, tomorrow is a new day, start then!
However, I do get the appeal of it, and with everyone else starting new things, it does make it easier to try to start something new.
With that being said, my goal this year is to give the gift of precense to my family AKA limit MY screen time!
How many times have you found yourself nervously scrolling through FB or Instagram, just trying to get through the meltdown without losing your mind?
I HAVE! Way more than I like to admit…
How many times have you been in a conversation with someone who is important to you, and the whole time they are looking at their phone, and it feels like you must not be that important!
But then you are the one doing the scrolling without even really realizing it, because it’s become the norm to always be checking your social media sites!
Now, I know there’s only so much you can do.
By screen time, I don’t mean the computer or TV. I mean really distracting things like your phone.
I’ve gone to bed at 10 (a decent time for me) and gotten sucked into the Facebook Video rabbit hole then not even put my phone down till midnight!
And I hate it!
So anyways, these are the methods I’ll be incorporating this upcoming year to reduce my phone usage, and be more available to my family.
I know these work, because I sort of did a trial run a couple months ago (You can read it here when I really pushed to try to be a happier, more patient mom!) however I fell off the bus!
But I was able to get my screen time down to an hour a day (compared to like 3 or 4… how in the world do I stare at my phone that long??)
Here we go!
Get a screen time monitoring app, or just enable it on the Iphone
This is one of the most important steps, because you have to know what your baseline is!
Once you find out how much time you actually are looking at your screen, it sort of makes it like a game to see if you can do less the next day, and the day after and so forth.
However, if the scroll force is strong with you, let’s move on to the next step!
Eat your meals without looking at your phone
Everyone’s situation is going to be different with how useful this tip is, but here is why I think this is awesome.
If you have kids, you are probably familiar with the whole screen time debate – how much is too much, how to break kids of it, when to start it etc.
And if you haven’t noticed, kids pay attention to what you are doing… way more than we know!
So if you are looking at a phone everytime you eat, and your kids see that, they too will want that because that is the norm for them.
Not only will not using your phone while eating model a healthy way of life for them, but it also shows that you are available to talk and interact!
I can’t tell you how many things I would have missed had I just been looking at my phone – especially since I have three kids three and under and am always breaking up fights (I need to see what happened!)
Anyways, I noticed a big difference in my sons attitude when I made this little change.
Instead of only really being talked to when he got in trouble (the only time I looked up because I heard someone crying) now he gets talked to about normal things, like what toy he’s playing with, some story he wants to tell me or just being able to look up at me, and I actually see him.
This results in less acting
Make a rule to actually look at people when they talk to you, and to not use your phone while engaged with others!
Have you seen those memes floating around showing a bunch of people at dinner, or at the bar… and all their heads are down just looking at their phones?
This is so common, and I even find myself doing it sometimes!
If you want to help your loved ones and friends feel way more important, put the phone down when they speak to you!
I feel on top of the world when I’m really having a good conversation with someone, like actually looking into their eyes when they talk and making that connection!
Help others feel that way too – how many times have you been trying to talk to your partner, and the phone only gets put down should something “important” come up… as if just connecting at the end of the night isn’t important enough!
Now don’t get me wrong, video games and stuff can still be fun since both people can see what’s going on and talk about it (in act I drank a glass of wine and hung out with hubby while we talked about Elder Scrolls Skyrim… and it was great!)
Turn off both sound and “lock screen” notifications for apps that aren’t important
Have you ever gone to check the time on your phone, and saw someone you know posted something on Facebook?
Of course you have to check it, even if it’s a notification about someone ou havent seen or talked to in years!
And BOOM you’re down the Facebook rabbit hole!
I find that if I just remove the sound notification and the lock screen (the screen that appears before you unlock your phone) that I won’t be near as tempted to open any of my social media apps!
I know some of us work from home, and may need things like email, but try your best to really work down the amount of notifications you get!
Keep your phone somewhere that you can still hear it, but is out of the way to access
Out of sight, out of mind right?
Keep your phone in a bedroom close to wherever you hang out during the day, or on top of something like the fridge (just don’t forget where you put it!) so that you can still hear it should someone call you, but you won’t be tempted to look at it every time you pass by it!
I like to hook my phone up to our bluetooth speakers so that I can really put it away from everything, but still hear it since the ring or text will come through the speakers!
Subscribe to a couple magazines you like or a local newspaper
Subscribing to some reading material will give you something to do when you do actually get a couple of minutes to breathe!
Not only that, but your kids will see you reading and that will encourage them to read!
I really like National Geographic as well as my local paper, but there are tons of magazines out there (and often times, you can find some sort of deal on them to lower the price, especially around the new year!)
I also find that, when reading a magazine or paper, I’m not sucked into click bait garbage that I regret wasting my time with as soon as I finish it!
Make a rule to yourself to only look at your phone during _____ time
Something I do is when the kids all
And I’m ok with that because that is my time!
There may be times during your day that you are cool with looking at your phone – maybe it’s when the kids are at school or sleeping, or maybe when they are watching a show so that you can get your relax time in too!
Every family is different, and this really varies by age, but you will be more ok with less screen time if you know there IS a time that you can freely use it!
Boundaries can be good!
Charge your phone away from your bed!
This is probably going to be the hardest one guys…
I for one absolutely love plopping into bed, pulling up the covers, and catching up on the day via the internet and social media!
Now, if I only looked at updates, saw there was nothing cool going on, and went to bed that would be fine.
However, if you’re like me and say “Well that was boring” and try to find stuff to do, or just keep scrolling, or think of a random renovation idea and research every possibility on Pinterest… well, that’s when it’s good to not look at your phone in bed!
Studies tell us that looking at your phone before bed is pretty bad for our health, but it’s so hard to resist looking at it, especially when you’re just laying in bed and want to have that “me time” that you feel like you haven’t had all day!
So here’s the deal – get all that out after the kids go to bed, but do it on the couch!
Don’t have any comfy blankets or pillow by you so that you aren’t tempted to fall asleep there.
When it’s time to go to bed (set a timer if you need) charge your phone AWAY from the
This will reduce the chances of grabbing it “just to look at something real quick” as well as allow you to
Do you have any tips that have helped you reduce your phone usage?
I’d love to know, so leave it in the comments!
Also, I want to add that we aren’t perfect…
If your limit your phone use through even one of these tips, you’ll have accomplished something that will better yourself and your family!
I realize that sometimes in e trenches of motherhood, your phone is sort of your only get away, and that this is just a season of life that will pass… so do what you need to survive!
Anyways, Merry Christmas and Happy New year guys!
Hey mama, here are some other tips you will love!
- Learn how to be a happier mama here (Unsurprisingly, less phone usage is one of the ways!)
- Find out how to push back mom guilt and realize you need to take care of yourself too!
- Learn how to make mom friends you actually want to hang out with here (No,
readinghour isn’t the best place!)
- Teach your kids to actually play with their toys by getting rid of the toy clutter!