In a world where we rely on our smart devices for so many things, I think it's important for our mental health to decrease that extra, excessive screen time we consume each day. It's taken me awhile to build up these habits and set specific boundaries around my screen time, but now that I have, I've noticed a huge difference in my mood. See below for some tips I've implemented to help reduce my personal screen time!
1. Turn Off Push Notifications For Social Media + Email
Working in social media means that I have multiple clients hooked up to my personal phone, and that can be a dangerous game. I’m one of those people who needs to immediately take care of something if it’s in my face, so I had to set some boundaries for myself here. I turned off ALL social media notifications on my phone (both for my clients and for my personal + business Instagram) because I felt like I was constantly living in social media checking every little notification. Out of sight, out of mind really helps me here. I did the same for my email so that it doesn’t make a noise or give me a little bubble with the number of unread messages I have, because I am an inbox zero gal and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to change that! Haha. I now have set times I go in and look at these each day! It really helps.
2. Set Aside Personal Social Media Times Each Day
Again, because I work in social media I am essentially “in it” all day long, but I’ve learned how to separate my work from my personal social media “play.” Although it would be easy to check on mine throughout the day, I like to keep that separate and so I set time aside to check my favorite brands and influencers each day...usually as soon as I get home from work and put on my cozy clothes for the evening. I love seeing what my favorite brands and bloggers are up to! Some of my favorite influencers to follow are @lizadams @erinsinsidejob and @sassyredlipstick and some of my favorite brands/communities are @girlsnightinclub and @theskimm.
3. Don’t Check Your Email First Thing
Unless there is something super dire going on that I’m waiting for a response on, I don’t look at my email until I’m sitting at my desk at my office. I had a bad habit of checking my email late at night or early in the morning around 6am when I was about to work out, and all it did was stress me out about my day before it even started! Now, I come ready to tackle my inbox with a clear mind when I’m *supposed* to start my day...always with a giant serving of iced black coffee in hand, of course!
4. Set Distinct Times For Responding To Personal Emails
Work emails are one thing, but personal is a whole other ballpark. I feel like I’ve constantly got some side project going or an administrative life task I have to attend to, so I set aside time each day to tackle my personal inbox so that I’m not constantly checking that email every five minutes either.
5. Listening Instead Of Watching
Lately I’ve been trying to replace watching Instagram stories or mindlessly scrolling through an online shop with a podcast, and I've really enjoyed listening to things instead of sitting in front of a screen! Now I take a walk or go for a run or do chores around the house while I listen to podcasts. It definitely increases my productivity! Some of my favorite podcasts to listen to are Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast, Rachel Hollis’s Rise Podcast, and the Bad On Paper Podcast with Grace Atwood and Becca Freeman.
Now, get going on implementing some of the above and watch your mood instantly elevate! Your smart devices do not control you, friends :) You got this.