Screen time, it’s one of those things that I like to politely ignore. I know I get too much of it but as a working parent both my sanity and my job role depend on it. Not to mention the blogging. Recently I’ve started to become increasingly aware of it taking over and of needing to set myself more conscious boundaries. So when Vizulize asked me to share my screen time habits, I thought it was the time for a bit of honesty with myself. A bit of a public admission that I’m sure many of you can relate to. I’m an addict to the screens and it’s taking over my life!
It starts early in the morning; the first thing I reach for is my phone. Check the time, check my emails, have a quick scroll through social. It’s barely 6am and I’ve already clocked up a good chunk of screen time already. If I’m working I’ll spend my day alternating between the computer screen and projectors in meetings. Whilst grabbing lunch I’ll catch up with friends on my phone. Then more screens all afternoon before picking up the kids. Once bedtime’s done it’s on to the laptop for more work or a bit of blogging, then a de-camp to the sofa to watch tv (and undoubtedly text friends) before a late-night scroll-fest in bed. Non-work days are better but not by much; I’ll flick through my phone in the car whilst Dave drives us somewhere, I’ll check it in between playing, whilst cooking or en-route to the loo. Hell, I’ll even prop my phone up next to the computer in the evening when I tap away… does that count as double screen time!?
I flit between sites; social media for catching up with friends and the blogging community, news sites to see what’s going on in the world, emails to cover my job role whilst I’m out of the office. Throw in my daily sneak through the real estate apps (everyone needs a hobby!) and the time is quickly eaten up. That’s not even including the inevitable Google searches for things I don’t really need to know but apparently do now.
I feel a pressure to be there. To be present even when I’m not. To show people that I’m working when I’m at home. To keep up with the outside world when I’m at work. To check in on the gossip. To see what’s going on in the world. To hustle my socks off to keep this blog turning. I have FOMO of the highest order. It makes my eyes tired and my brain wired. It’s subconscious, it’s constant and it’s taking over.
It sneaks in to my sleep time, my down time, my quality time with my kids.
It needs to stop. I need to get it under control. I need to find balance. That’s my challenge.
There are a few easy steps I can take to kick things off; turn off my work emails when I’m on home days and the kids are around, leave my phone upstairs to remove temptation, take walks away from my desk when in the office. Little changes that can hopefully make a big impact to my day. I’m even contemplating replacing my phone on the bedside table with an alarm clock to take away the temptation to lay in bed aimlessly scrolling the night away. After all, with two sleep-hating children, I need all the sleep I can get!