This 2020, I embarked on a self-development journey. I’m committed to developing 12 habits for 30 days each.
For the past 30 days, I avoid using any gadget from 9:00pm to 7:00 am the next day. This is how it went.
I use my phone a lot (during and after working hours). At work, I use my phone to communicate and take down notes. After work, I binge-watch shows on Netflix or play games like Hustle Castle to unwind. The only time put my phone down is when my eyes starts aching. There was a time when I was not able to focus at work because of my painful eye. Then, I knew that I had to change my gadget usage habit drastically.
On average, I spend 7 hours and 57 minutes screen-time (according to my iPhone). That’s a total of 121 days in a year. That’s a lot of time spent on a device.
1.I put my apps to sleep
To do this, I enabled Downtime on iPhone Settings. During downtime, apps (unless allowed) won’t be available. You’ll be promoted with a reminder 5 minutes before it starts. I set mine up from 9:00pm to 7:00am.
I also set 2 hours daily time limits on Netflix, YouTube, and all my gaming apps.
2.I modified my home screen wallpaper
I incorporated my AM and PM routine on my home screen. I also set an alarm to remind me on when I should start with my routine.
3.I turned my screen to grayscale.
On iPhone settings, go to Accessibility, then accessibility shortcut. From there, choose color filters. Once enabled, by pressing your home button three times, your screen will turn to grayscale.
How did it go?
Well, as you can see, I was not able to do the habit for 30 days straight. It was difficult specially when stress and anxiety hits. But the challenge changed my screen time habits.
Now, my most used apps and most visited internet pages are under productivity category. I also feel okay not opening notifications right away.
I am also surprised on how changing my screen from colored to grayscale reduced my screen time. Apparently, it‘s less appealing to use a phone if it’s on grayscale.
Lastly, minor inconveniences from downtime and app limits frustrated me, helping me put my phone down when it’s due.
Should you give it a try?
We live in a time where we cannot stir away from any gadget. We grab our phones first thing in the morning, use it throughout the day, and even sleep beside it at night.
I never thought that an hour of online streaming is harmful, but after adding up all the numbers, it was absurd. 121 days screen time could have been spent on more fruitful activities like pursuing my passion, learning new things or nurturing my relationships.
A habit of setting your phone aside when it’s due opens an opportunity to be more conscious on how we spend our time. Time is gold, use it wisely.