Smartphones have become a crucial part of our day-to-day lives, from providing us with entertainment during our commute, to making payments in supermarkets. However, spending too much time with your trusty mobile could interference with sleeping patterns and any other daily activities. So, if you’re interested in ways to limit your smartphone use and set boundaries, here’s a list of tips on how you can become more mindful with your handset.
Limit screen time
Setting up screen time limits is a great way of monitoring your digital behaviour. With most contemporary smartphones, all you have to do is enable screen time in your handset’s settings, and you’ll get access to weekly reports on how much time you’re spending on each app. What’s more, you even have the option of setting targets and timers, which is a useful way of reducing your screen time.
To see the usage report for your iPhone, open ‘Settings’, scroll to ‘Screen Time’, and tap ‘See All Activity’. You’ll then be able to see a graph that indicates how much time you’ve spent on particular apps, websites, and how you’ve used your device throughout the week. Plus, it’s here where you’re able to set limits on the apps you’re using the most.
For those with Android devices, open ‘Settings’, tap ‘Digital Wellbeing and parental controls’, then under ‘Your Digital Wellbeing tools’, select ‘Show your data’.
For both iPhone and Android users, this feature is built into your smartphone, so you can switch it on and off whenever you please. It’s worth noting that this is only possible on iPhones with iOS 12 or later.
Change light settings
According to Harvard Health, the emission of blue light from your phone’s screen can have a detrimental impact on your sleep, especially if you’re someone who spends time scrolling through their Twitter feed before bed. For that reason, iPhone and Android devices both provide plenty of light features in settings, which are designed to help reduce the amount of blue light your phone emits, as well as any eye strain you may feel.
One brilliant feature, which can be found on iPhone, is Night Shift. By using geolocation and sunset time data, Night Shift establishes what time the sunset is in your location. It then applies a filter to your display, so that the colours are much warmer and easier on your eyes. Then, come the morning, your display returns to its original saturation and brightness.
Activate a sleep schedule
Go to bed on time and wake up feeling refreshed with your iPhone or Android’s dedicated sleep mode. For iPhone users, all you have to do is go into your Health app, tap ‘Browse’, and then scroll to ‘Sleep’. Once you’ve decided how many hours of sleep you’d like to get each night, your iPhone will recommend a bedtime and wake-up time. You can even activate Sleep mode which automatically turns on ‘Do not disturb’ as well as covering your lock screen to limit any distractions during the night.
This works in a similar way to Android’s Bedtime mode, which can be found in Digital Wellbeing. When it’s your bedtime, your Android device begins to dim, your notifications are turned off, meaning your texts and any other messages are paused too.
Download an app
There’s a whole host of apps available on both iPhone and Android, specifically designed to help reduce your screen time. One especially popular app for setting smartphone boundaries is Flipd, which aims to fight procrastination – perfect for anyone studying or working from home.
With Flipd, you can set a timer, and once set, your iPhone or Android device will lock for a period of time. Known as a ‘Focus lock’, even restarting your device won’t disable the app, leaving you free from any distractions. Once the time you’ve set yourself is complete, you’ll be able to access your handset as normal.
Using driving modes during a journey can have a considerable influence on keeping you safe. With iOS 15, Driving Focus allows you to keep your concentration on the road and remove any digital distractions. Simply put, Driving Focus operates similarly to the ‘Do not disturb' feature, in that all text messages and other notifications become silenced.
Once Driving Focus is activated, you can ask Siri to read text messages aloud to you, therefore removing the temptation to glance at your iPhone whilst you’re driving. What’s more, incoming calls will only come through when your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, your car's Bluetooth system, or a hands-free accessory.
Android users can make full use of the Assistant Driving mode, which works similarly to Siri. By simply using your voice, you can make calls, control media, and send messages.
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