10 Ways To Use Your Mobile Phone Less

Would you like to spend less time on your phone? Us too. That’s why we wrote this.

In a recent Instagram post, UK fitness trainer Joe Wicks confessed he gets distracted by his phone far too much and is unable to focus on a single task because of it.

We’ve all been there too.

The constant notifications, the need to check what you may have missed, emails, Twitter trends, new TikTok videos, news headlines, bank alerts, Amazon notifications.

The list is endless and it’s easy to see how your smartphone can dominate your life if you don’t set some rules or guidelines for yourself around it and follow them.

Sometimes we make excuses to justify how long we’re on our phone – “it’s for work”, “I just need to quickly check this” – but the reality is, much of our time spent on phones can be wasted time.

Don’t get us wrong, we love smartphone tech – the benefits the technology has brought to our lives are endless, but like anything good, too much and it can have a negative impact.

We’ve compiled a list of ten tips that work for us to be less distracted by our phones and use them less.

1. Keep your phone out the bedroom

The golden rule if you’re tempted to jump on your phone first thing in the morning or sit there scrolling until you drift off at night.

Leave your phone downstairs or in the hallway and you’ll use it less and reduce the amount of screen time you have before bed.

Need your phone for your alarm?  Buy an alarm clock.

2. Turn off notifications

Some notifications are useful.

Such as ‘Your Dominos pizza has arrived!’.

‘Billy has liked your TikTok video’.

Not so useful.

Head into Settings and turn off all the notifications you don’t need.

As an example, the only notifications I have enabled on my phone are whether my phones ringing, calendar reminders, my food is here, someone from my family has text me or someone is at the front door.

All the others can wait.

This stops me from being distracted by my phone when I’m either working, socialising or with my family.

3. Use screen time limits

These can work in two ways – disabling some apps or your phone after a certain amount of time or warning you that you’ve hit your daily limit.  Even using the latter serves as a handy reminder of how long you’ve been on your phone or a particular app.

And parents – we strongly recommend using these limits for children that may use a phone or tablet now. Teach them now the benefits of screen downtime to help them when they become adults. They need downtime more than us, even though they may tell you they don’t.

4. Dim your screen at night

Blue light is emitted from phone screens.  This light keeps you awake.  In the evening, if you are on your phone, dim your phone screen or using the ‘Night’ settings to set apps to dark mode and set the screen to a warmer yellow.  It won’t eliminate all blue light but will reduce it, helping the phone not keep you up as late.  Ideally you should be off your phone at least 30 minutes before bed.  Two hours ideally.

5. Don’t use app time tracking apps

Apps to make you use apps less? No.  Don’t fall for it.  The idea of using a time tracking app outside of the main phone settings is a trap you can easily fall into – getting hooked on checking in on the time tracking app.  No need.

6. Delete social media apps

You don’t need them on your phone. If you find yourself checking them too much, delete them.  Keep the accounts active, and access them on your desktop or laptop. Instagram, Facebook, even TikTok, all work fine on a PC or Mac.

Remember, social media apps are designed to keep you on them for as long as possible – the longer you’re on them, the more adverts you see, the more money they make.  That’s the business model.

7. Clear your homescreen

This is really simple but has helped me. Remove all apps from your first homescreen, put them on the second or even better, in a folder on another screen. That will help you with the bad habit of checking them.

That little bit of extra effort to open Facebook can be just want you need to make using your phone a conscious decision rather than a habitual one.

8. No phone for the first 30 minutes of each day

We all know how our morning behaviour can affect the rest of our day.

When you first wake up, your brain is still installing all the wonderful updates from last night’s sleep – processing thoughts, ideas and solutions.

Pick up your phone first thing and you’re interrupting all that good brain development.

It’s like letting loads of people into your room first thing, bombarding you with requests.

Let the first part of the morning be for you.

9. Don’t take your phone everywhere

It can be hard to leave our phones at home. Especially if we have children or a loved one that we need to ensure can contact us at any time. But does this mean you need your phone with you all the time?  Possibly not.  If you have the opportunity to do it, leave your phone at home when heading out for a walk or going out to a restaurant.

It’s amazing how freeing the feeling can be just not having your phone in your pocket.

10. Read books

We often reach for our phone when we’re bored.  Reach for a book instead.  Don’t like reading? You just haven’t found the right book.  Ask friends (or Waterstone’s) for recomendations and try some different styles.  I hardly read any books until I discovered biographies and business/marketing books – now I read every day.


We hope these tips help you with using your phone less.  We’re not saying you need to do all of them, just 1-2 may help you reduce your phone use and help you to be less distracted by smartphone tech.

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