This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR on October 5, 2019. You can read it in its original form here.
There are a lot of negative effects of too much screen time, including trouble sleeping, headaches, and impaired decision-making. If you’re interested in reducing your screen time, all it takes is a couple of small lifestyle tweaks to add up to major changes. We have some easy hacks for making it happen, so keep reading to check them all out now (and then put down your phone!).
Use Your Voice Assistant Like a Pro
People like to complain about them, but voice assistants are actually designed to reduce screen time. Become a pro at using Google Home, Siri, Alexa, or whatever voice assistant you choose. Your assistant can set appointments, make reservations, dial your friends — all of which can reduce your own screen time.
Delete Your Social Apps
Facebook, Twitter, and the like are designed to suck you in, causing you to spend as much time as possible browsing your feed. There’s no doubt social media can be useful and fun, but use it on your desktop only so you’re not tempted to look at it 24/7.
Go to the Gym
A lot of people use YouTube and other streaming services for workouts. If you’re concerned with decreasing your screen time, head to the gym instead. It may be slightly more expensive in the long run, but your body and mental health will both thank you.
Have Real Meetings
Spending too much time on Slack or Gchat? Then your workplace is pretty much like 99 percent of offices across the world. Get off the messenger apps and have real meetings to reduce your screen time and improve work communications.
Get a Library Card
Sure, books can be expensive, but that’s no reason to read on a tablet instead of using good, old-fashioned books (especially since ebooks can be pricey, too). Just get a library card! It’s cheaper AND it will help you reduce your screen time.
Call Instead of Texting
While we’re all addicted to texting our friends and family, don’t make it your default mode of communication. Instead, invest in some hands-free Bluetooth headphones and have an actual conversation with your loved ones. Not only will it get you off your screen, but you’ll have more meaningful communication — it may even improve your relationships!
Use a Bullet Journal
Bullet journals are great for keeping track of your appointments and to-dos while simultaneously providing a customizable creative outlet. Instead of using your phone, use this fun pen-and-paper method to keep track of your time and productivity, make lists, organize your appointments, and stay on track.
Get Rid of Your Data Plan
For those who really want to make a big leap, get rid of your data plan. You can still use all of your favorite apps whenever you’re connected to WiFi, but you won’t be tempted to check your phone while you’re out and about.
Listen to Podcasts and Audiobooks
Leave Your Phone at Home
When you’re heading out for a fun day with friends and know you won’t really NEED it, just leave your phone at home. Enjoy the moment with the people you’re with instead of checking your phone every five minutes. We seem to have some kind of intuitive knowledge that too much screen time just isn’t good for us — so do yourself a favor and take a break from your phone.