Screen Time Detox : Take Back Your Life One Step at a Time

If you’ve ever been on your phone or computer, scrolled through social media, clicked on a post or link and an hour later wondered what happened and why you didn’t get anything done, you’re going to love this post.

Everyone gets distracted and mindlessly strays from the tasks at hand, but there are times when you’d rather not go down that rabbit hole, so to speak.  When I’m working, doing home tasks, and/or spending time with the family and friends, I don’t want to get distracted. I want to enjoy every bit of my REAL life and I don’t want to be distracted by my screen life.  If I’m working, I want to be productive and efficient.

As great as I think the Internet is, I don’t love how easy it is to get lost in an app or social media feed.  I don’t want my kids to ever have to compete with someone I don’t know for my attention and I don’t like losing track of time due to mindless scrolling.

If you need a couple tips for staying focused on the task at hand and be the best you can be at the time, try out these tips for limiting your screen time.  By limiting your screen time, you’ll be organizing your time, and ultimately you’ll be more efficient and productive.  That’s a win all around!

Use this as a detox session for limiting your screen time:

Keep your to-do list on paper.  I find that keeping as much as I possibly can on paper is really helpful.  I don’t have to check my phone to see what I need to do for the day.  Just the simple signal of a paper to-do list is helpful to keep me on track throughout the day.

Keep your calendar on paper.  I know that the Cozi app, iCal or Google Calendar are super helpful for many families – I’m not suggesting going away from that, but if you find that checking your phone is a problem, you might find that a planner or paper wall calendar are better options.  We have a large wall calendar by the family phone (landline phone) – I love having this seemingly old-fashioned set up.

Product suggestion:  I have oodles of paper planning products in Clean Mama Home – check them out here!

Turn off phone notifications.  I only have notifications on email, text, and phone calls on my cell phone.  Keeping any other notifications OFF eliminates any unnecessary scrolling and distractions.

Set aside specific time for checking email.  I find that starting the day off with checking email is reactive instead of proactive.  I get up, start the coffee, unload the dishwasher, and head to the gym.  If I start the morning off with answering emails I have those emails on my mind and am instantly reacting to them instead of taking care of them at a specific set time.  Try blocking out time for emailing and stick to it.  You’ll focus on that task and surprise yourself with how much time you save in the long run if you aren’t repetitively checking email on and off all day long.

Limit your apps.  The only social media app that I have on my iPhone is Instagram – because you kind of have to have that on a phone for it to work 😉  I don’t have any FB or messenger, Twitter, etc. on my phone.  I only use my laptop for social media and I find that that distinction helps me limit my time on social media (I also have an assistant that helps me out too).

Stop checking your phone.  Keep the phone in a charging station when you aren’t using it.  Lock it up in the glovebox or in your purse while you’re in your car.  We still have a landline so if I am using my phone it’s more for business, taking pics, texting, and Instagram.  If you want to surf the web, set a specific time during the day just for that and set a timer if you have to.

Set a timer.  Use a timer on your stove, clock, phone and set it for your specific task.  Ten to fifteen minute increments is a great place to start.  Set the timer – focus on the task at hand until the timer goes off.  Repeat the process as needed and until the task is completed.  While working at home I set a timer for about 60 minutes for a focused work task and then I get up and do something home-related.  It might be switching out laundry, prepping dinner, or taking a break.

Figure out what works for you and use it to limit your screen time or detox it all together.  I think you’ll find that you’re much more productive by NOT multi-tasking your distractions.


  1. You must have read my mind. I spend way too much time on YouTube. Today is a good day to start new habits. I am going to schedule a time to check my iPad in my new Clean Mama Housekeeping Planner that I ordered yesterday!

  2. kimi pittman says:

    I LOVE this post so much!! I do the paper thing but obviously on my phone now ‘checking,’ social media. Going to implement some of these great suggestions! And of course share this too. Haha Thank you.

  3. The first years I had a computer, I was “constantly” surfing. Then I realized that I didn’t do much of anything else during the day! As I was already on computer at work, I then decided to put some order in my day-to-day schedule. I also realized I was neglecting (kind of) my husband.
    Before discovering your web page etc, I didn’t know where to start with the housekeeping. Everything seemed overwhelming! Then, I’ve decided to put 15 minutes aside for the computer and then 15 to 30 minutes doing house chores. It worked ok.
    However, since 2015, I’m following you and implementing some good ideas from your blog. I do what I can and set a timer. I have a daily planner, a weekly planner and a menu planner for each week. And I don’t stress if everything on my list isn’t done by the end of the day! Thanks to you and also thanks to me, I’m better organized now and since I’m retired since 2015, I don’t spend my waking hours on the net. I divide my day in 15 or 30 minutes periods and my house is clean, I cook great meals and I enjoy talking with friends all over the world on Facebook. BUT!…. I don’t neglect my housekeeping anymore. So, thanks to us Becky. Have a great day.

  4. Great advice, Becky! Very timely as we all begin new schedules with fall starting.

  5. For those of you who are looking up after only an hour, I salute you. I wasted half of the weekend on various platforms. These are great ideas! I would add one other thing – when tempted to pick up my phone, I’m going for a book instead. I don’t think it will be nearly the black hole that social media platforms are for me.

  6. After moving from Illinois to Texas, I would constantly check my phone for updates from my children and friends. I realised I was becoming addicted to my phone! Now, I check my phone every two hours when I said down to take a break from cleaning inside or from working outside in the yard period it makes a big difference and I get so much more done!

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