If you find yourself wasting hours using your electronic devices day after day after day, always wishing you hadn’t, always regretting the fact that you’ll never get that time back, getting sucked into endless social media rabbit holes, suffering from sore eyes and neck pain - but feel there is nothing you can do about it...your electronic device habits are probably on autopilot. It’s time to turn off the digital autopilot and time to take control of the wheel.
The really devastating part about leaving your devices on autopilot, especially when it comes to your social media accounts, is that you don't even notice how much they are controlling you half the time. You just downloaded the apps and left the default settings on. Next thing you know, you are getting flooded with emails, red dot notifications and bings and buzzes. You're getting disrupted 24/7. While many people live day in and day out on autopilot (which is truly sad), the way to truly have healthy electronic device habits is to be totally aware and proactive when it comes to using your devices. So, how do you do that?
Finally, if you are on digital autopilot you have to ask yourself who you want to be in control…the social media app companies, your email inbox, Netflix or YOU! If you feel like your life is out of balance. It's either too stressful, too complicated, too boring, or you have surrendered your life to the "routine". Take some time this week and really think about your relationship with your electronic devices. How can you take control? Make them less visible? AND maybe you’ll get a little bit of your life back?
Thanks for reading!
Until next month folks,
Many of us have goals we want to achieve. Goals vary from weight loss, smoking cessation, financial success, to reducing our time on social media or using screens. Here are 8 tips to help you achieve your screen time health goals. Many tips can be used to achieve your other goals too!
1. Partner up with a Buddy
Ask a friend, spouse, or co-worker to join you. When you know someone is counting on you, you don’t want to let them down. The buddy system also brings a social element to your goal, which makes it more fun. If no one wants to partner with you, then maybe they can still be a motivator for you to check in with and keep you honest.
2. Set Your First Goal
An initial goal sets a foundation on which to build future goals. Setting a goal, such as permanently removing your phone from your bedroom, may never have entered your mind. But after your initial goal is met, you may see other beneficial goals that can reduce your screen time and improve your health and sense of wellbeing.
3.Change Your Routine
Just a slight variation in routine can take you to a new level in reducing your screen time. Instead of looking at your social media first thing in the morning, take the time to do 15 minutes of stretching or meditating. What a great way to start the day and feel like you have accomplished something right after you wake up. Now that’s motivating!
4. Track Your Progress
Keep a log. This will help you track your goals, monitor your progress and adjust your routine as necessary. You can measure how much time you have reduced your screen time by or how many days you haven’t brought your phone to the dinner table. Seeing your progress can give you that extra push you need to keep going or it can provide you with a sense of accomplishment on how far you have come.
5. Reward Yourself
When you reach a new screen time goal or milestone, treat yourself to something special – a massage, an evening out, new clothes or some other indulgence. Studies show rewards are a key to staying motivated. Set that reward ahead of time, so that it acts as a motivator.
6. Remember the Benefits
You know how good and healthy you feel after a good night’s sleep? Make a mental note of that feeling. Use that memory to motivate yourself the next time you’re thinking of looking at your phone before going to bed.
7. Go Easy on Yourself
Stuff happens – you had a sick day and watched hours of Netflix? You had an important assignment or work project and spent hours at your laptop? Don’t let a few days of excessive screen time turn into falling back into poor habits again. Pick yourself back up, reset the clock and move forward.
8. Plan and be Ready
Plan your screen time use as much as you can. Write your screen time plan in a notebook or on your phone (yes, this is a healthy use of a screen). Plan your tomorrow for success!
Wishing you great success with your goals!
Until next month folks,
Living your life without looking at screens is nearly impossible now, but do you really need to look at them 10 or 11 hours per day? Ya, that’s the average amount of time people spend looking at screens. Is changing your screen habits hard? You bet! But only if you try to change everything at the same time! Big changes are difficult, and take time, but there are many easy steps you can take right now. Take many steps, even small ones, and pretty soon you're getting somewhere. BIGTIME!
Healthier Screen Habits Today
An easy first step is just to look, right? Start looking for specific screen habits you want to change, just 2 or 3. Maybe it’s spending less time on social media, reducing the interruptions at work, or binging less Netflix! Even if you don't accomplish anything immediately, you are preparing yourself. Thinking, about change, sets your mind and your motivation in motion.
Thinking about change doesn’t mean you're looking for an excuse to avoid difficult tasks. You wouldn't expect to quit cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeine all at once, right? Just make things better today, in any small way. Seeing results will motivate you for the more difficult steps. Consider some of the following simple actions:
I could go on, but I don't know what your goals and needs are. The point here is to get you thinking, and then taking whatever actions you can. If you think about all the different ways screens are disrupting your life, you will probably get overwhelmed. If you thought about the whole process of getting a college or university degree, you might never do it, but it's easy to take 1 course or semester at a time, right? (And then one more, and one more...).
So start thinking and making that list!
Until next month folks,
How can you make this happen? At the end of each year, many people take time to reflect and look ahead. If you're one of these people, or if you would like to start getting the benefits from a little self-reflection, I have some great questions for you.
Look at these questions once a year, once a month or whenever you're looking for some direction in your life. Take a good hard look at your life more than once a year. You'll get a lot more out of your life if you're more conscious about what you're creating.
These questions are designed to help you recap this year and plan the new year with a clean slate. By working on the following questions you can end this year mindfully and prepare to build for the new year.
Looking at this past year:
Your Limiting Screen Habits:
What are your personal values (see my November blog post if you need help with this)? What is most important to you in your life? What drives you? What roles do you play in your life? Rate each role on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most important.
The way this works is that for at least a week or two you ask yourself the above questions. Write them down and do it in writing several different times. Then after doing that for all of the above questions you answer one final question:
What do I want to accomplish and who do I want to be in the coming year?
Happy 2022 my friends!
1. Timers are your friend! It doesn’t have to be a fancy timer. Use the one on your stove, set one on your watch or buy a small inexpensive one. Set your timer before you start scrolling through your social media. Set your timer for 10, 15, heck even 30 minutes if you want but limit your screen time for social media use. The timer will wake you up out of your screen coma and you can get back into your other daily activities. Another idea is to scroll through your social media when you are waiting in line at the supermarket or waiting at the dentist. If you're struggling with your social media use, it’s important to plan how and when you use it!
2. Get charging out of your bedroom! It’s very common for people to charge their phones on their night tables, right next to their beds. Experts recommend 6-8 hours of sleep per night. That can’t happen if your phone is buzzing or the screen turns on in the middle of the night. You’re also more likely to use your phone while in bed which will decrease your melatonin levels responsible for sleep. Sleeping is the time for our bodies and minds not just to rest, but to rejuvenate.
3. Turn it off! The convenience that cell phones have added to our lives can actually be a double-edged sword. We depend on them so much, it seems we can’t live without them. Our minds are constantly filled with news, social media, emails, etc. so it’s nearly impossible for us to settle down. Turn your phone off or silence it and put it in another room. Start with 30 minutes at home, then 1 hour then…….you get it. Once you can do that….oh my…...leave home without it! WHAT???? Yes, try it, you’ll see, your world will be ok. You may even find it liberating!
Well, that’s it for now my friends.
Keep working on those screen time habits!
I've been coaching for years, and the biggest thing I've learned - both for me and for my clients - is that knowing what you value is the path to success.
There are all kinds of strategies, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior, and practical tips for improving your life and feeling better about yourself, but they're all useless if the foundation isn't there. That foundation is YOU, you’ve got to know who you are. Do you know who you are? Where do you start? Start with making sure you know what you care about. What do you value?
Get To Know Your Values
Personal values are a big passion of mine and I can get carried away with myself when I talk about them. I make no apology for that though. Values are one of the most important things you can know about yourself and are vital in getting genuine inner confidence. Your values are ten thousand feet down inside you, right at the very core of who you are; and they’re the building blocks, the foundations, and cornerstones for you. A value is something you hold as worthwhile in your life. You cherish it more than anything else. It motivates you and drives all your decisions. Values could include things like: family, achievement, time freedom, and health.
Why is it that some people and situations leave you feeling angry, frustrated, demotivated or deflated? It’s because one or more of your values is being denied, suppressed or repressed – and you experience that as a negative experience because it’s denying a fundamental piece of who you are. You know those times when you’ve felt really alive, amazing or buzzing? Those are the times when one or more of your values are being honored, and you can get more of that by living according to them.
Your values are all yours, and no matter what happens, no one can ever take them away. You can have absolute confidence in them because they’re there all the time just waiting for you to notice and use them. When you get to know your values, you can start making choices and align your life around them. It’s so simple and it feels amazing because all that really means is that you’re allowing who you are to live in the real world.
So close your screen, get your journal out and start listing your values. Not an endless list, just your top 5. That way, you can keep focused and live a life truly aligned to what you find worthwhile.
Choose to have an awesome day!
Secrets To Combat Your Fear of Changing Your Screen Time Habits
Fear gets to the best of us, whether it’s fear of failure, fear of success, or even fear of missing out. FOMO! All of us have experienced fear at some point and it can be a real stumbling block that keeps us from being truly successful. There are several ways to overcome your fears of changing your habits, here are some that might help:
1. IDENTIFY THE TRIGGERS
Figure out where, when and what triggers you. Identifying your triggers helps you learn how to combat them. Ex. Are you stopping yourself from removing the notifications or buzzing from your phone because you are afraid of missing out on something?
2. KNOW WHERE FEAR LIVES IN YOUR BODY
A lot of times, fear takes over physically. Identify if/how triggers affect your physical body. Do you get tense and stressed when you can’t answer or look at your phone in a meeting? Are you afraid you are going to miss something important? How can you eliminate the triggers that cause your fear of missing out? Ex: if you feel tense and stressed when you hear the buzz or ding of your phone while in a meeting, you can start a habit of turning your phone off to avoid the tension and stress. It takes 5 seconds to turn your phone off and back on. Use going through the doorway or logging into the meeting as your trigger.
3. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY
Perception is a very powerful thing, and how you feel about your situation dictates how you respond. When you think positively you’ll give yourself a much better chance of success. This won’t happen overnight; practice with just one thought. What is one recurring negative/fearful thought you have? Focus on what you are gaining with your new habit instead of fearing what you are losing. Are you afraid to miss something if you leave your phone at home, when going for a half hour walk? Think about the peaceful walk you will have without the stress of responding to people on your walk.
4. CREATE A SAFE SPACE
Find or create a safe area that is a screen-free zone. You can retreat to that space when you’re not feeling so great. A great place is your bedroom. You will fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and avoid the stress of waking up in the middle of the night to look at your phone.
Please keep in mind, these are just 4 strategies, not everything works for everyone. But this is a place to start. Start implementing these techniques into your life and don’t let fear hold you back from reaching your goals and your highest potential!
So how do goals help your screen time health?
Here is what goal setting gives you:
While it can be fun to live without direction for your screen use in the short term, in the long term a purpose and direction for your screen use will significantly improve the quality of your life.
It’s often easy to let others or technology set your direction for you. You use social media accounts because family or friends do. You download an app because popular culture or the media tells you to do so. If you don’t set your screen use goals, you let outside forces control you. This can lead to stress and unhappiness. You have a greater chance of happiness when you intentionally plan out your use of screens.
Goals also motivate you to get you through difficult times and choices. Maybe reducing your use of social media or leaving your phone out-of-sight may be stressful and difficult in the short term, but in the long run, having more time for other fun activities or having more quality time with family and friends will make it worthwhile.
Screen time goals also put you in control of what you want to accomplish with your screen use. For some people, the goal might be to get better sleep at night, while for others the goal might be to free up some time to do other fun activities. If you do not set goals that are unique to you, it’s easy to become sidetracked by life and others.
Screen time goals can also help you save time. When your "To Do" list becomes too long and your calendar is too full, then you can come back to your goals and eliminate what doesn’t fit. What items help you achieve your goal? What items are necessary to your goal? Scratch off the rest as unimportant.
Just as screen time goals save time they also reduce stress. Regularly referring to your goals will focus your life and choices suddenly become easier to make. Should you watch that extra 30 minute episode instead of going for a walk? Do you really need to check your emails before going to bed?
Finally, goals give you a way to measure your accomplishments. Every goal you achieve, every step you take toward that goal, can give you a boost of energy and momentum to keep going. Each success powers you toward the next level of success.
Now go out and set your screen time goals!
Do you have healthy screen time habits? Do you ignore your friends and family a little too much…………. or a lot! Have you ever gone to lunch or dinner with a friend and they keep checking their phone? It doesn't feel that great huh?
Maybe you’re suffering from neck pain or dry itchy eyes from too much screen time. Is it from too much screen time? How do you know? Where do you even find out?
One of the best ways to find out if you have healthy screen time habits is to take a look at how you interact with screens. Assessing your screen habits is an important first step in targeting which habits to change. Knowing where to start is half the battle! Get your free assessment at www.screentimehealth.com.
Stop pushing it off and start now! Get the free assessment and fill it out. It’s easy and quick to do. Compare your score to the guide that’s included. Then……...you’ll know. You’ll know if you have healthy screen time habits. What if you don’t have healthy habits? Yikes!
You’re Not Alone
There are many people who struggle with their screen time. You’re not alone. Some people decide to have a go at it alone. That’s ok………..but you don’t have to. I can help you get there. Included with the assessment are some tips to help……...like why you should go to bed alone. What? Find out why, with the Tips sheet at www.screentimehealth.com.
Have an awesome day!