Building Better Screen Time Habits

I have become unsatisfied with my current screen time usage, mostly as it relates to my iPhone. I work on a computer all day. That time in front of a screen isn’t going anywhere. But I have noticed I’ve fallen into some habits which are un-productive and I’m reaching for my phone all too often outside work hours.

To help break these habits I’ve turned to the built in Screen Time monitoring tools that ship with iOS. The two features of this I am leaning on most are App Limits (to set time limits for apps), and Downtime (white-listing only certain apps for a given time period of each day.) I currently have downtime set from 5 PM to 9 PM each day. This is so I can break the habit of whipping my phone out while I am with my family after work hours. Depending on how this goes I will consider expanding this time window to a larger period. Here are the only apps I have set to be always allowed even during Downtime. It is worth noting I do not keep work related communication on my mobile devices outside of when I’m traveling for business. That is reflected in the list here.

apps I allow in “downtime” hours

These settings on iOS are not hard rules if you are the admin for a given device, which means you can work around them fairly easily if you want/need to. But I hope the prompts it puts in place will nag me enough to help kick the muscle memory which has built up.