Tuesday Tips is a weekly newsletter with actionable tips related to reducing screen time, increasing productivity, maintaining health & wellness, and understanding the psychology behind behavior change. To view all the tips go to getpresentapp.com/blog.
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Tip at a Glance: It’s great to reduce your screen time. But if you don’t find anything to fill that time with - hobbies, work, friendships, etc. - then you’re much more likely to slip back to old habits. Take the time to figure out how you want to spend the time you used to spend scrolling. It can be overwhelming at first, but don’t put pressure on yourself. Just start exploring.
If you’ve been reading Tuesday Tips every week and keeping up with Present then you’ve probably made some significant progress in reducing your screen time. 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. 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! Don’t trade your screen time for another vice. I’m looking at you, the person who’s 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. 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.