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Limiting your smartphone use with apps

Are you struggling with distractions, and in particular with the distraction your phone creates? There’s a number of apps that can help in that case.

In the past, I used Moment to get an idea of how much time I’d be spending on my phone in a given day. I also followed one of the (free) courses in the app. In general, I like how the app is related to the book “Bored and Brilliant” by Manoush Zamorodi. The app itself has gone through quite some changes since then, and I find myself not using it anymore. It may be still of value for you.

The function of my phone that I use now is Screentime. With Screentime, I get an idea of how much time I spend on my phone, and I can set limits on phone usage. During the week, I set a limit of 20 minutes for social media and 1 hour for all phone usage, with some apps always allowed (meditation, workouts, ToDoist – apps that I feel are useful for me). As many people, I struggle with wanting to check social media too much, and yet not getting much out of it for myself (when did social media turn into an ad circus and political battleground? I just want to see pictures and status updates of my friends!). Limiting my use through Screentime is quite helpful for that purpose.

While using apps to reduce your time on your phone is a good hack, you need to address why you are so dependent on your pone. Do you check your phone when you are bored? When you need to solve a difficult problem? Just to kill time? Know why you are mindlessly scrolling in the first place, and then work at this underlying level to break free from the habit.

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