Should you feel you need to strike a balance between your offline and online life
Here’s something you can try that’s equally scary and revealing: Visit your phone’s screen time feature and add up the time spent on your device over the span of a year.
Some might learn that they’ve wasted two to three whole months on their devices. Other cases are worse. As reported on Insider: “In the US, kids between ages 8 and 12 spend an average of 4 to 6 hours per day looking at screens, while teenagers may spend as much as 9 hours per day.” And if you think the odds are better for adults, this isn’t the case at all. The report goes on to say that in the US alone, adults average just over 10.5 hours of screen time every day.
All this screen time may appear inevitable, since the times do call for gadget use as our way to connect. But in the name of striking balance, making sure life offline is as valued (if not, even more) is crucial. In some cases, you thankfully don’t have to do the work of policing yourself. There are apps for that. And straight ahead, we round up four that you could turn to for mobile and/or desktop to get your screen time down and improve your focus on other more important things.
“Block distracting apps and sites. Make productivity your priority.” The tagline says it all. Blocksite is a free tool that you can employ to free yourself from online distractions. It’s straightforward yet effective, and allows you to schedule your app and website blocking so you can power through your tasks and really focus.
This app earns its spot on the list because of its notable syncing features. Which means you could be on multiple devices at once or one at any given moment, and have the option to standardize what sites you block, when and for how long.
With SPACE, you can easily “find your phone-life balance.” Beyond screen time tracking and blocking features, SPACE stands out as a “personalized behavior change program” aimed at a more holistic approach: It’s designed to help people think of the overall implications of excessive gadget use. With it, you can set goals and track your daily progress to manage your habits, compare your behavior with your groups or even the world and collect achievements to break free from your device.
With this last app, it’s not just your time you “rescue,” you help plant actual trees, too. Whenever you successfully stay focused, the team behind Forest fulfills its partnership with the organization Trees for the Future to plant real trees on Earth. Here's how it works: Whenever you want to stay focused, plant a tree. Your tree will grow while you focus on your work. Leaving the app halfway will cause your tree to die. It's an interesting way to help users focus on the important things in life.
Being more mindful of how much time you spend on your mobile devices might just help you unlock another world of potential. Still, if you have to be online, at least make those apps work for you! From the apps that can help your kids or younger siblings study and productivity apps for online schooling to ones that overall make life easier, maybe now’s the time to give your mobile devices an app overhaul.