Very Excellent Habits

Spend 62% LESS Time On Your Phone – Here’s How…

screen time

My phone pinged. The message read ‘Sorry!!! I only just got this – I lost my phone!’.

This is a fairly typical reply from my friend. Days pass without her responding to messages and she replies to Facebook tags and posts in bulk about twice a year. It’s outstanding.

She genuinely just doesn’t care about social media. She cares about keeping in touch with her friends and family but she’s so busy living life that she frequently loses her phone because it’s not attached her hand 24/7. Many years ago I called her from my car and was shocked when her phone rang – it was in my car. Where she’d left it 2 days ago. I randomly saw her walking past my house and I yelled out that I had her phone and she goes ‘Oh cool! I was wondering where that was!’ and then said she was off to her drum lesson and she’d swing by and pick it up on her way home later. Then she forgot and I had to take it to her the next day. What sorcery is this?

This friend frequently but inadvertently reminds me to turn the spotlight on my own screen time habits and slowly but surely I’ve been making adjustments to how much time I spend on my phone.

Question… how much time do you spend on your phone in a day? In a week?

Warning – I’m about to ruin your day. But I fully intend on saving it again so bear with me.

If you have an iPhone, kindly follow these instructions. First, you need to turn on screen time.

Turn on Screen Time

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time.
  3. Tap Continue.

Then wait a week and check it like this.

Check Screen Time

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time.
  2. Tap See All Activity under the graph.

The first time I did this I had clocked something stupid like 7 hours of screen time on my phone in a single day. That’s the equivalent of an entire workday AND it was also an actual workday so I had somehow managed to work for 7 hours and dick around on my phone for 7 hours. What an epic waste of time. The thing that was really creepy about it was that I had no idea what I had actually DONE during those 7 hours. I didn’t feel smarter, in fact, I felt really stressed out because according to the internet the world is doomed and we’re all going to die. I would have much preferred to have spent that time doing literally ANYTHING else. So how did I let 7 whole hours slip away from me?

It’s actually very typical behavior. The average Australian spends 7 hours a day on their phone and most of that time is spent on social media.

Isn’t that mind-blowing? Like what are we actually doing on there?

A few points before we continue. 

With that out of the way here’s where I was at with my internet use. 

I removed Safari from my phone. 

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to Settings from your iOS Home screen
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Restrictions to toggle it on
  4. You will be able to further access Restrictions once you enter the 4-digit passcode
  5. Under the Allow section, tap on Safari to Disable
  6. Once done, you won’t be seeing Safari on your Home screen anymore

It’s the single best productivity decision I’ve made. Here’s what’s changed for me.

And to be honest, my phone use wasn’t THAT terrible to begin with. I often leave the house without my phone and I actively try to leave it in inconvenient places when I’m spending time with my family. The habit I was trying to break was the flop and scroll. When I finished doing whatever I was doing I would grab my phone and flop on the couch. Even if I only scrolled for 15 minutes, if I did that 4 times a day, that’s an hour.

In conclusion –

Safari has been off my phone permanently for a week and I won’t be putting it back on.

Also, this week’s episode of Straight and Curly is now live – How to Communicate Effectively With Your Partner, Friends and Family.

So tell me… what screen habits are you trying to break? And what would you do with an extra 3 to 4 hours in your day?

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