One of my new year’s resolutions is to spend less time watching screens. By screens, I mean my phone, my computer (for things like youtube) and my one, true distraction, TV shows.
In preparation for the new year, I have taken some steps to change my habits, and I am already noticing a huge difference- so I thought I’d share these steps with you!
Step 1 – Take note of your habits
This is the first step when it comes to changing any habit. For TV, I recommend writing down everything you watch for 4 weeks. This includes regular viewing, as well as youtube, videos on your phone, and that infamous “it just on in the background” viewing.
Step 2 – Evaluate your habits
Once you have evaluated 4 weeks of viewing, I want you to break your list into three categories. The first categories are shows or videos that you find yourself distracting yourself from. This includes fast-forwarding ANY part of the video or playing with your phone while you watch it. Next category is all of the things you watched “in the background” or anytime you ended up down a video wormhole. The third, what you should be left with are the things that you truly love watching. These are the things that you look forward to, the things you talk about with your friends, the videos you share on social media, the shows you love every moment of. This can also include a random movie that you watch with someone you care about.
Step 3 – Pare down your habits.
Sections 1 and 2 of your list? Get rid of them. Give it a month. If you miss any particular show, you can add it back in, providing that it fits in with step 4.
Step 4 – Give yourself a time limit
Even too much of the shows you love can be bad for your life. It can consume way too much of your time and can affect you achieving your goals. For me, the maximum screen time that I am aiming for is 10 hours, which is a lot less than I used to watch.
For me, it was easier to split up that time even further into a ratio that works for me. 2 hours of youtube or phone time, and 8 hours of actual television programming per week.
Step 5 – Set aside time for the rabbit hole
We can’t all be perfect. We cant all know what we are going to watch, all of the time. Sometimes, we need to explore. We need to fall down that rabbit hole. So schedule it. Give yourself two hours on whatever day works for, and just go nuts.
Step 6 – Give yourself a new show ban
I have also given myself a ban on new shows. This is to avoid going 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. Only when the shows I am watching the end, can I chose to start on something new. It’s a “one out, one in” kind of rule. If like me, you have trouble cutting down, try a “2 out, 1 in” rule, so you get to see something new, but you are still watching less overall.
And that’s how I have begun to cut down my screen time. Want to do the same? let me know how you go in the comments or tag me in your lists on Instagram!