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9 March 2021

Tips on reducing screen time


Source: OSXDaily

You might have read the title of my blog and thought, reduce screen time? We are completing university online how can we do that! But just hear me out, the reason I am writing this blog IS BECAUSE we are studying online, and it is important now more than ever to take steps to improve our mental and physical health when it comes to screen time, outside of university.

According to Ofcom screen time since the pandemic begun has rose with the average person spending more than a quarter of their waking day online with people aged 18-24 spending on average 5 hours 4 minutes online every day, it makes me feel sick when the facts are put in front of me! Follow my tips below to try and reduce your screen time.

1. Set App Limits

Setting app limits is a great way to help keep unnecessary screen time at bay e.g., time on Instagram (which I am sure we are all guilty of spending too much time on!). All you have to do is go into your settings click ‘Screen Time’ then ‘app limits’, ‘add limits’ then decide which category you would like to limit your time on. Personally, mine was social so then I clicked social and set a 3hr limit for Instagram and Facebook everyday and when that time is up the app locks me out until the following day. They can be altered or deleted at any time. (Please note I have an iPhone so instructions may differ slightly for other models but just check google)

2. Set Downtime

Downtime has been my saving grace over the last couple of weeks, I was struggling to sleep after spending hours attending University on my laptop then finding myself in bed on my phone till early hours in the morning, repeating this day on day, I knew this had to change and that is when I started using the downtime feature on my phone. The instructions are the same as above apart from once you go into ‘Screen Time’ you then click ‘Downtime’. Downtime is where your phone lets you choose to have time away from your phone, where your phone will lock all apps in between customised periods of time. For example, every night Monday-Thursday my apps lock at 10:30pm and do not unlock until 8:00am the next day, but on a Friday and Saturday I allow myself more time as it is the weekend. This has been amazing for my sleep and I find myself asleep by 11pm most nights as I do not have my phone distracting me, my screen time was also down 9% last week!

3. Go on walks without your phone.

Ever find yourself taking a break from University work by going on a walk to then just go on your phone the whole way round? Same! But this is not good as we are still not giving our brain the break, we set out to give it. So, when you decide to go on a walk leave your phone at your desk and give yourself a complete break, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much more stimulated you will become from the walk and the things you will notice and appreciate which you would not normally see because your head will be looking down at phone or your earphones will be blocking out sounds. A 30-minute walk everyday can drastically improve your psychical and mental wellbeing and 30 minutes in hindsight is not a long time.

4. Find a new hobby!

It is so easy in our spare time to just sit on our phones or watch 10 episodes back-to-back of our favorite series on Netflix, but this still is not combating the problem of high screen time. So, my final tip is FIND A NEW HOBBY! This will differ from person to person, but it is about finding what works for you, which may be different to the hobby your best friend enjoys. My personal hobby is baking but yours may be something along the lines of:

  • Reading a book
  • Colouring
  • Cooking
  • Running
  • Knitting
  • Bike riding
  • Yoga
  • Play board games.
  • Self-care activities
  • Gym
  • Meditation
  • Walking

the list is endless!


By Skye Scanlon


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