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I was shocked. I hadn’t even considered this, over an hour a half of screen time on a day.

My phone now lets me now this information, and it is more time than I would want. Time to make some changes and take control.

Is it true for you too, that your phone takes up more time than you would want? If the answer is yes, then this digital detox may be an idea to try for you. The detox will also help you overcome nomophobia.

The most simple rule is of course to use your phone more purposefully, only with intention. Put it face down or away from you more often, use airplane mode, close or delete certain apps. Yet, this is all much easier said than done. Smart phones, as well as many of their apps, are built precisely to keep you using them as long as possible.

If the mindset of being more deliberate and intentional about your phone usage does not work, you may need to take a little more drastic of a change. SPACE-Break Phone Addiction gives an oversight to how much you use your phone. If you install and use the app you can make deals with yourself; how often you want to unlock your phone in a day, how much time do you want to spend on your phone, what is the reason you want to limit this usage? The app will then give you reminders to set down your phone, as well as let you know when you have reached the screen time limit you have set for yourself. You can then choose to limit incoming notifications or dim the backlight of your screen if you go over your limit. If you achieve the limit you’ve set, you can unlock ‘achievements.’

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Another app I recommend is Forest, which tackles the screen time problem from a different angle. Using Forest, you give yourself an amount of time you want to work undisturbed on your thesis. You set the timer, and as long as you let your phone be without using it, a tree will grow. Forest then rewards you for every half an hour you don’t use your phone by planting another tree in the forest of that day. You want to avoid trees that turn brown, this will mean that you were unable to keep off of your phone for those 30 minutes. The app also gives you an overview of your longer term phone usage, you can check out how large the forests have grown, thanks to you and reaching your goals.

What do you do to make sure your phone does not take over all your time and energy? Please share your tips, your PhD colleagues will be thankful!!

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