As our mobile phones become ever more integrated into our lives, we often find it hard to imagine what life would be like without them. We use them to speak to friends, read the news, check our bank balance, book train tickets, order lunch and pay our utility bills.

But, aside from the times where we do really need to use them for practical reasons, how can we avoid those days when we just sit scrolling aimlessly for hours on end? Or, how can we aim to reduce our daily average screentime? Experts advise that adults should limit screentime (outside of work and study) to 2 hours each day. So, are you keeping within that limit?

If not, here are a few suggestions you help you reduce your usage…


De-clutter your home screen

Just as we regularly advise you to declutter your student home with items that might spoil your zen, so we advise you to do the same with your mobile phone too! If the home screen on your phone is currently swamped with masses of apps that you rarely even use, then have a detox today. Keep the apps that you want to encourage yourself to use — like those for reading or learning a new language or listening to meditations but delete anything that doesn’t add value or substance to your life or wellbeing. To go a step further, you could even delete certain social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter entirely and relegate your usage to your smartphone’s web browser only! Go on, we dare you!


Wear a watch

How often do you get your phone out of your pocket just to check the time or how long you have left until your next lecture? Well, one way to cut down your daily screentime would be to use a watch so that your phone can stay safely away from your wandering eyes! Whether you have a Smart watch or an old Swatch, put it on in the morning, and notice your phone intake reducing drastically.


Buy an alarm clock

Similarly to the point above, do you use your mobile phone to wake you up in the mornings? If so, this might not be the healthiest way to start the day. Alarm clocks are cheap and easy to use, so invest in one and leave your phone alone in the morning. Which leads us nicely onto our next point….


Ban your phone from the bedroom

Don’t let your phone be the last thing you see at night and the first thing you check in the morning. By using a regular alarm clock and charging your phone out of reach in another room, you won’t be tempted to start your day by getting vortexed into an avalanche of messages and updates. Not got another room to leave it in overnight? Well, that’s okay. Simply turn the airplane mode on and pop it in a drawer or cupboard to avoid temptation.


Turn off notifications

You don’t have to be interrupted by every ‘like’ that your latest Instagram photo receives or even more depressing news alerts. One of the most effective ways to cut down on distractions is to turn off push notifications for as many apps as you can. Just go to Settings > Notifications on your Smart phone to control your preferences.


Set-up a time limit

Many parents set up time-limits and downtime for their kids’ devices, which is a great way to minimise screentime usage. But why stop when you reach adulthood? Setting up limits for usage on your mobile phone can help you to track how much you are actually using your phone as well as set times when you are restricted from using it i.e., before 8am or after 8pm. You will soon by enjoying your evenings so much more, you might even forget what all the fuss is about anyway.


Batch perform your activities

As we already mentioned, we understand there really are times when you need to use your phone. So, why not get these activities out the way altogether at a pre-determined time? Monday mornings are a great time to set your calendar entries, order shopping or review your utility bills, which means that the rest of your week can be spent with minimal digital admin time.


We hope that some of these suggestions are useful in helping you regain control of your smart phone usage, and that you found this a useful ten minutes spent reading as part of your daily 2-hour quota!!!


For more help and advice for students, don’t forget to check out our other blog articles.