TT #9: Get a damn hobby!
Tuesday Tips was originally a series of newsletters we launched to give early users actionable tips for how to effectively reduce their phone screen time. Because we saw such an enthusiastic response, we decided to post the tips on our website. To view all the tips go to getpresentapp.com/blog.
If you like these tips or have some of your own, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, wait. Before we get into it today, I have to reflect on something.
Everyone - I have some very sad, sad news: this will be the last Tuesday Tip.
I know some of you are starting to tear up behind your screen. Stop it! You’re going to make me cry too. All I can say is don’t be sad because it’s over, be happy because it happened.
Okay, I know most of you aren’t that sad, but a guy can dream, right?
The reason this is the last tip is simple: you now have enough tips to make a significant impact on your screen time.
If you’ve implemented all the tips we’ve discussed then you should be well on your way to having more time, energy, and focus to pursue your goals in both your personal and professional life.
But then you come to the next question - how do I want to spend all this extra time I have?
This is probably the most important step in the whole process.
It’s important because people start on this journey to break their phone addiction only to succeed, but then fall right back into doomscrolling because they have nothing else to fill the time with.
But it’s also important because it’s the entire point of reducing your screen time in the first place.
If you’ve been actively trying to reduce your screen time it’s because you’ve recognized, consciously or unconsciously, that you have a vision of your life that involves you doing more than spending every idle moment scrolling on your phone.
The problem is, because our phones suck so much time and energy out of us, even though we know there is something more fulfilling we could be doing, when we actually have the time, we often get lost because we don’t know where to start. It then starts to feel overwhelming, and when we feel overwhelmed, we want to immediately retreat back into the nice, safe place we always used to spend our time: our phones.
That’s why it’s so important to have something, anything, to begin to fill your time with when you first start staying off your phone.
I’m not here to tell you how to spend your time - only you can figure that out. But I do have a couple tips that might be helpful:
Take the time to actually think about how you want to spend your time. Think about hobbies you’ve wanted to try, friends you haven’t seen in a while, skills you’ve wanted to learn, etc. Know it’s going to take time and don’t just give in to scrolling because it’s easier.
If you’re stuck, see here for a long list of offline activities you could try: https://www.reddit.com/r/digitalminimalism/wiki/offline/
Personally, I filled a lot of my time by working out, cooking, and reading. All things I always wanted to do, but thought I never had the time because of work. Turned out I never had the time because of Twitter!
Start small. Try little things first. You don’t have to immediately try to accomplish all your life’s goals now that you have a few extra hours a day. Just focus on incorporating activities that aren’t scrolling on your phone into your day. Over time, you’ll figure out what you actually enjoy and how you want to spend your time, and because you now have the skills to target your focus and energy, you’ll be ready when that time comes.
Don’t trade your screen time for another vice. I’m looking at you, the person who Netflix just asked “Are You Still Watching?” I’ve fallen victim to this too and I can tell you, it defeats the purpose and makes you more likely to fall back into your own habits.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and respond to these newsletters over the past 9 weeks. The response has been incredible. If you’re interested in reading any of the previous newsletters, I put them on our blog: https://www.getpresentapp.com/blog
I still plan on releasing newsletters/content/blogs, so keep an eye out for those.
In the meantime, if you want to make sure you continue to motivate yourself to keep your screen time reasonable, sign up for our Beta!