Screen Time is Stealing Your Joy: Here's How to Get it Back

One of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like you’ve been wasting time.


We all know how finite our time here on earth is and I’m sure we’re all constantly thinking or afraid of the prospect that we’re wasting time or not using our time efficiently enough.


Long story short, we need to find a happy medium. But obviously, that’s a lot easier said than done.


But today I want to focus on something that I think a lot of us are guilty of wasting our time on when we could be putting it to better use.


Screen time. *dun dun dunnn*



The Problems with Screen Time


It’s a phrase that’s crept up on us, hasn’t it?


With all these new gadgets and apps and technologies, everything, and I mean everything is on a screen nowadays.


And obviously, lots of screen time isn’t the best thing for our eyes either. But sometimes it feels like we’ve got no choice. Our jobs are on screens, our video games, social media and entertainment.


I have no choice as a copywriter not to use a screen for work, making it imperative that I spend my free time off screens as much as possible.


Or at least I can be more intentional with my screen time. Because let’s face it, it’s not going anywhere any time soon.


So when I stumbled on the book Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport and read his thoughts on how to enjoy our time without technology and only use it when absolutely necessary, it gave me the kick I needed.


I have wasted SO much time online. Between Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, (and it pains me to say it but Twitter has stolen some of my years as well), I would be terrified to find out exactly how much time I’ve spent scrolling or mindlessly watching content for hours on end.


Am I the only one freaked out by this?


It got to the point where just below the surface, I knew I wasn’t even enjoying being on these platforms but I was still using them,


So what’s the solution?



Digital Minimalism: How to Minimise Your Screen Time


I’ve recorded a podcast episode on this topic, so if you’re looking for deeper insights on this, check it out!


Cal Newport suggests that we declutter our digital belongings and that this should NOT be a gradual process.


If you want to start enjoying life a little more, that means going cold turkey.


There’s no gradual approach here. Note down all the apps and things that you spend a lot of time on and replace them with activities or dedicate that newfound time to learning a new skill instead.


What’s something that you used to enjoy doing as a kid? When was the last time you picked up that crochet needle? Are those acrylic paints just collecting dust over there? Now’s your chance to pick these hobbies back up and spend some quality time with yourself or some friends.


Which leads me to my next point: mastering the art of being alone.


When we’re stuck mindlessly scrolling on our phones, we reduce the amount of time we get to spend with ourselves. Instead of engaging with our own thoughts and ideas and perhaps turning those into paintings, poems or discussions, we passively intake other people’s thoughts and opinions, therefore neglecting our own.



Activities To Do Instead


Here are a couple of things you can do to start incorporating digital minimalism into your lifestyle:


Leave your phone at home

Take a walk through a park or a forest and just enjoy the sights and being outside without the weight of everything your phone holds in your pocket. It’s very freeing!


Start journaling

You could write a time capsule letter to yourself to open in 6 months or start a daily journal. Self-reflection can tell you a wholeeee lot about yourself. If you’re looking for an easy place to start, you can click here for my free self-reflection journaling guide!


Allocate a time of day to check your phone

This one may seem a bit of a step but if you can, set a certain time in the day to check your phone and do all the things you need to do in this time slot only. Then the rest of the day is all yours, phone-free, to spend how you want.


And lastly, reclaim leisure

Cal Newport suggests that spending so much time on our phones and laptops when we’re not being intentional about that time gives us no space to just relax. Do nothing. It’s okay to just sit and see where your mind wanders.


Give your brain (and your eyes) a break and try incorporating something different into your day!


 

To hear more from me about self-discovery and forming new healthier habits, sign up to my newsletter and get your free self-reflection journaling guide, listen to my podcast or pick up an issue of JADEN magazine so you can hear from other people just like you on their self-discovery journeys.