In this digital era, the world is busier on the internet than it is outside. Research shows that the average millennial spend an average of 5.2 hours each day in front of screen while average gen z spends around 5.9 hours. But that’s not all. 98% of gen z members own a smartphone, and a huge portion of them spend a staggering 10 hours per day in front of screen. Especially now in this Covid-19 pandemic, device usage has been skyrocketed as the demand for in-home entertainment increased since most people are sitting home waiting out the lockdown.
It’s not wrong to use your smartphone all day (have to justify the payment, right?), but it is terrible when it starts affecting your work and sleeping habits. It is hard to ignore all those notification sounds. While most of the members of gen z like to stay updated with all the latest news and stories from their favorite celebrities, it is necessary to put a silver lining on the device usage habits. That’s where digital wellbeing comes into play.
There is no “take back control of your life” button, which can help you stay productive and focus more while at work or studying, but there are certain things you can do to take back control.
Turning off the notification is an excellent start. Even though the average smartphone user likes to get the latest updates and news right when they’re published, it may distract us during worktime. So keeping notifications disabled except for a few essential apps is a good idea.
Another idea is to use an app that blocks further device usage for a brief period. Don’t worry, everything will be under your control, so no need to panic. There are several apps available on both the Apple Appstore and Google Playstore which allows you to do just that. Just write “focus productivity” in the app search and you'll find the holy grail of apps which can potentially help you put your phone away for some time.
If you’re a night owl or an avid reader like me who relies on their digital device to read books and stories, you can make use of the night mode function of your smartphone. Night mode can reduce blue light exposure at night. Research shows blue light affects the secretion of the hormones, which are necessary for a good night's sleep. While most of the smartphones have this function, some of them don’t. If your device doesn’t come with any night mode option, then you can use third-party apps to get the benefits. Lots of “blue light filter” apps are available for both android and ios users. For pc users, using f.lux is a good choice, it’s free.
If you’re an Android user, then you’re at luck. Google recently took a digital wellbeing initiative to help android owners who are looking for an escape from device addiction. There is a digital wellbeing app available in Google Playstore, which you can utilize for maximum focus gain.
Putting your phone on do not disturb is also a good idea. When do not disturb is enabled, only phone calls will ring a bell. But you can customize it for your own convenience. Followed all the rules above and still having a hard time disconnecting? Hit the airplane mode. It will take you to the plains of silence in less than a second.
These are but a few tips which can help you take control of your life. The most important of all, you have to stay aware of how these devices are costing you your valuable time and attention. Don’t forget the old saying, “time is money.”
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