I think I have mentioned it here a few times, but I (used to) spend A LOT of time on my phone. I’ve tried to reduce it in the past with more or less success, and recently without any university work (I finished all exams half a year ago) and varying amounts of work as a freelancer, it crept up to 6+ hours of screen time per day. (this is excluding watching stuff to fall asleep, which I want to reduce but I am taking one step at a time) - So it’s a lot.
I tried a lot of stuff, reducing the hours, by setting limits for apps, turning off notifications, but that just leads to me extending the time by entering the password myself, or checking my phone more often because I am curious about whether someone texted.
So last week Wednesday some stuff changed. I took my first long bike ride in a long time, and that day I felt really good, I still had 5 h screen on time that day though. The next day I turned off notifications for Whatsapp, but I left the indicator next to the app on, so I could see that I have messages quickly, I also decided to just force myself to wait a bit until replying to people. Also my girlfriend is the only one that knows my screentime passcode now, so I can't sneakily extend my app time
That Thursday my screentime was 3h 16 minutes. I was hooked, I wanted to keep my time as low as possible. Since that Thursday, I have not hit the 4h screen on time once. Yesterday I was at 3h 59 min... it was an exhausting day though (Spending 1.5h at the waiting room at the doc) and I wouldn’t have blamed myself, but I still didn’t want to hit the 4h mark. Last Thursday my daily rhythm has changed quite a bit. I got Ring Fit Adventure this week, and I have done sports 4 times this week, I started to pick up playing guitar (literally got one yesterday) and ukulele again, and I just try to find stuff to do that does not involve my phone. I also played Persona 5 Royal on my ps5, I know it’s screen time but I feel less bad about it because I don’t take my PS everywhere with me, and these were the first days I have taken off in a long time… Next, I am trying to maybe work through my books that are on my backlog, finally finishing some more again. (my girlfriend gave me the book "South Sea Vagabonde, and I am meaning to read it, and I am also listening to the Audiobook "The Shallows")
One change just caused so many good changes. I am stoked and looking forward to how low I can bring my average, I know 4h per day is still a lot for most people. I am aiming at sub 3h next ( I had that once this week).
This scene from Bojack has been my mantra since then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2_Mn-qRKjA
It really does get easier, too. Today I went biking and I managed to go much longer without breaks and I feel way less exhausted.
I just wanted to share my experience somewhere, maybe someone else is on the same path and this helps.