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5 ways to reduce your screen time (especially if you work digitally)

5 ways to reduce your screen time (especially if you work digitally)

| Ashton Womack
5 ways to reduce your screen time (especially if you work digitally) | virgo and paper


Like many of us, I work primarily in front of a computer screen. It feels like most of my day is spent in Adobe Illustrator, my email inbox, iCal, or my accounting software. 

And while I love to design, it can be easy to get swept away and realize you’ve spent several hours in front of a screen without a break. I’ve noticed my eyes straining, my head aching, and my back hurting from sitting in a chair too much. 

So I’m always looking for ways to reduce my screen time, and I’d love to share them in case they can help you, too. Let’s get into these 5 ways to reduce your screen time (even if you have to work on a computer all day).

1. Take a break

This one’s obvious, but I personally forget to do it all the time! So here’s your reminder: stand up and walk around for 5 minutes. Even better if you can briefly go outside just for some Vitamin D or take a walk. I’m a big fan of a walk around the block when I am stuck on a problem and just can’t make progress. It’s a wonderful mental break and I come back to my work with new perspective.

2. Do as much of your work on paper as possible

I swear by my paper planners. And even through I do a lot of digital art, I still prefer my paper sketchbook. Could you use a paper notebook for meeting notes? Print out that document you need to reference daily? 

3. Batch work 

Using a batch work system has saved me so much time in general, but also reduced my screen time. It’s simple - do similar tasks all at the same time. 

For example, instead of checking into your email inbox 13 times during the day, check everything at one time. I personally check emails no more than once a day, and I go through all 4 of my email inboxes at once and deal with every single thing. That way you don’t have to have your device open all day waiting for an email - you have a dedicated time to deal with it! 

I do the same with other work tasks, like writing, designing, packing orders, everything - and it has seriously opened up so much free time I didn’t know I had! 

4. Unplug the wifi

Have you ever unplugged your wifi router? This idea occurred to me once when the power went out on my street during a weekday. I actually felt really calm and was very productive without access to the internet for a few hours, and I realized I could easily just unplug my wifi router anytime and create the same scenario. 

I love to unplug on a weekend - but I actually have unplugged my wifi on a weekday as well. That’s because there are so many tasks that I need to do that actually don’t require me to be online, such as planning, packing orders, sketching, outlining ideas, organizing my inventory, etc. Sometimes the internet can be such a huge distraction from just getting these tasks done efficiently! 

5. Use a flip phone

Ok, I know this is a controversial topic, but I actually do use a flip phone. I decided to give up my iPhone in August 2021 for a simple phone with no apps and no internet.

I have videos on my YouTube channel where you can find a little more detail about why I made the switch, but the main reason is I already spend SO many hours on a computer for work, I really don’t need or want to spend all of my personal time staring at a smartphone, too. 

My screen time used to be higher than any human’s probably should be, and using a flip phone has greatly reduced my screen time and increased my peace of mind, creativity, and overall sense of well-being.

So… there you have it! My 5 tips to reduce screen time, even if you use a computer for work. Do you have any suggestions for reducing screen time? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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