Allocate Your Screen Time Wisely
Lockdown life means more tech, here’s how I try to streamline my usage
I’m sure those of you who are a little more tech-savvy have become unofficial tech support within your household. No avoiding the situation. Where you going? Haha. Your Mum just watched you walk back in the house from your “run.”
Jokes aside, I’m very mindful of how I’m allocating my screen time at the moment. Things like video calls, texts, social media, writing and now virtual classes mean a lot of time looking at a screen. I already wear prescription glasses because I often get migraines when looking at screens (or in a room with really bright lights).
Just a few years ago, I would avoid social media, my phone (always on flight mode) and TVs like the plague and sometimes I miss those days – they were peaceful. I guess you could say I’ve been sucked in (I still don’t watch TV though).
I love the communication because I love people, but the medium literally makes my eyes and head hurt. That’s when I have to really take it down a notch.
Here are five things I (try to) do to monitor/minimise my screen time:
- Keep a paper diary
I have a mid-year diary to be specific. I’ve always done this. I admire people who keep electronic calendars (just the thought of it hurts my head). Nearly everything is electronic now, so the few things that I can do on paper (responsibly), I do.
- Do as much work as possible off screen
For example, if I want to write on a particular topic, my bookshelf is where I will start my research rather than defaulting to the internet (I have my gripes with internet research anyway). I’ll use scrap paper (or backs of letters, envelopes) to take notes before sitting at my laptop to write. I love a good notepad too, which some may say is not good but it’s paper wastage that’s a problem. To everyone who prints 100 page documents… and doesn’t click double-sided… please try to stop that.
- Reply to non-urgent messages in bulk
I often feel bad about this but I know my response to a message is not life and death (unless it is but it’s probably not). The person who sent the message has likely forgotten they even messaged me. I’ve learnt that replying at a time that suits me is fine: chances are they’ll appreciate the response regardless of the time-frame.
- Free myself from posting obligations
I run a few pages on various platforms and sometimes I place pressure on myself to post regularly. Content is key, they say. That’s the social media rule right? Well yes – if your goal is exponential social media growth but that isn’t mine. If it happens lovely but I’ve learnt not to force myself to create content when I’m already busy with day-to-day work.
- Straight disappear
Now this is a little extreme but sometimes it’s needed. Sometime out of sight, out of mind is the approach I need to take. It may not be out of my mind but I distance myself from non-urgent screen time by: just not opening an app, moving an app to an unfamiliar location on my very organised home-screen or temporarily deactivating/deleting an app.
BONUS: I utilise the dark/night mode features on my devices like nobody’s business. I keep the brightness turned down as much as possible, where possible too. I’ve been asked plenty of times “how can you even see your phone screen?” Truthfully – just fine – I just look at it with my eyes open. Excuse me, couldn’t resist the cheek.
I Wish Things Were a Little Different but I Get It
Lockdown living is absolutely synonymous with increased tech use. Advice on limiting your screen time seems long gone, as we stay home and keep in contact with everyone via social media and tech. I’m not complaining. It’s understandable and I’m grateful that we live in a time in which we have the means to keep in contact with each other so easily – especially during such a sketchy time.
I must admit, I’ve wanted to throw my devices away… a few times. I wouldn’t of course. Why? My phone has unfortunately become an inextricable extension of me. To those who have the option of not looking at their phone – I’m slightly envious.
I could do the same but I’d probably be out of job – haha. Although I sometimes hate being in front of a screen, I love what I do and the impact that fitness enables me to have on people. I feel blessed to be in this industry.
I’m grateful I can still work during this time, even if it’s not the ideal situation. I prefer being able to see people face-to-face but we’ll be there again soon.
Anyway to conclude, I just wanted to remind you to allocate your screen time wisely.
Big Love… H!