Tired of Being Glued to Your Screen? Try These Ways to Stop Looking at Your Phone

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Yes, phones and technology have done a lot of good in our lives. But, we’re all guilty of looking at our phone screens as soon as we’re bored, need to look something up, or just out of habit.

I’m trying really hard to reduce my screen time. Identifying the triggers for pulling your phone out is a big part of it. I do some of these ideas myself, and am trying to do more. Some will work for you, some may not, but even just finding one that helps you reduce the need to look at your phone all the time will be good in the long run.

Get this list for free using the link at the bottom of this article. Print it off, try some, and see if they help you spend less time on your phone.

On Your Phone

The best place to start is on your phone itself. There’s a few things you can try to highlight your usage or make your phone more difficult to use.

  • Turn on or install screen limit/warning settings
  • Track your screen time and see if the number shocks you into action
  • Turn off all but essential notifications from apps
  • Install an app blocker and turn on for certain times
  • Minimalist home screen – move apps to folders or secondary screens
  • Try a dull or unpleasant looking screen or background photo
  • Activate greyscale mode
  • Use ‘focus/do not disturb’ modes at night/certain times

Changing Your Environment

Next, try creating environments around you that are phone-free, or make it harder to access your phone. Here’s some ideas:

  • Put phone holders outside dining rooms and kitchens
  • Set up charging stations away from where you work or relax
  • Put phone away from your bed at night
  • Get an alarm clock instead of using your phone
  • Phones in the middle of the table at a restaurant
  • Phones in a dining room box on the dinner table when eating
  • Get arm/leg phone strap to hold phone when running or at gym
  • Try making one room or zone a phone-free area at home
  • Radio not phone music/podcast in the car
  • Get a phone case with cover over screen

Doing it Together

Trying to use your phone less is so much easier if, say, you and your partner are doing it. Or even better, the whole family – no matter how much the kids complain at first! It’s not going to be easy, but all of you can try these:

  • Start with just 15 minutes of no-phone family conversation and work up
  • First person to look at their phone at the dinner table does dishes
  • Gamify successful periods of phone-free time by awarding points and prizes
  • Try playing games like Twister or Jenga
  • Host a talent show or karaoke night
  • Try coloring books
  • Play the radio or music in the house
  • Get a pet/foster for a short period of time

Phone-Free Activities

For many of us, our phones are just too embedded in day-to-day life. If that’s the case, schedule some time to do things that you can’t use a phone doing – or at least it’s harder!

  • Water activities like swimming or rowing
  • Try some furniture flipping or a small DIY project
  • E-reader instead of phone for reading books
  • Walk or run in leggings/tops with no pockets
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Buy old/second-hand cookbooks – you can find them EVERYWHERE!
  • Outdoor yoga, pilates, or meditation with yoga mat
  • Use a hand-written diary instead of reminders
  • Stare at the sky – find animals in the clouds or stargazing
  • Cycling
  • Base gym workout around phone-free exercises e.g. box squats, rowing machine
  • Try the atlas/map instead of Google maps challenge

Replacing the Phone for Tasks

This is a real big one. We use our phones for basically all tasks these days. I’ve already mentioned the classic ‘get a real alarm clock,’ but there’s plenty more you can try below.

  • Get your daily news in a 5-minute email blast
  • Have 2 phones – one for work, one for social, and create separation
  • Take a DSLR, polaroid, or digital camera with you to take photos
  • Buy a newspaper on the way to work
  • Go to book stores and read in a cafe
  • Learn languages at meetups, not on apps
  • Exercise with groups e.g. HIIT workouts, circuits, spin class
  • Get a cheap MP3 player or iPod to listen to music
  • Replace your smartwatch with a traditional watch
  • Go to talks, social meetups, and debates
  • Day trip to places you know have poor cell or 5G service
  • Write, draw, or doodle on paper not a screen

Want the full list as a printable? You can get it here.

Get it here

Believe you and me, this is not easy. Phones are basically essential at this point. But, if even one of these ideas helps you reduce screen time just a bit, that’s a step in the right direction.

Did any of these work for you? Or, do you have some ideas of your own? Let me know in the comments, and good luck!

list of 50 ways to stop looking at your phone