Does it feel like you are constantly in front of a laptop or screen? If you are working from home, it may seem impossible to escape the digital devices. Before the pandemic, you likely had daily commutes, in-person meetings, lunch outings with colleagues and other physical interactions. These days, you are probably logging much more time behind a screen.

While looking at digital displays all day can strain your eyes and drain your energy, there are some ways you can counter the screen-related activities and better manage your screen time. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share tips from Regina Borsellino, a writer for The Muse, on how to reduce digital fatigue.

Go easy on yourself. It’s okay if your screen time has increased during the pandemic. Not only are you working online and participating in video meetings, but you also may use screens for socialization and entertainment.

Determine how you spend your online time. One way to scale back your screen time is to track how you spend your time. For example, you might notice that you scroll social media during lunch when you could use that time to read a book or go for a walk instead.

Be intentional with your screen time. Could you FaceTime or Zoom a family member you haven’t seen in months? That might be more fulfilling than binge watching your favorite show, notes Borsellino. And if you find it relaxing to browse Pinterest, you don’t need to scale back in the name of reducing your screen time. The idea is to approach your screen time with purpose.

Reduce the screen time where you can. Remember that not every meeting needs to be a video call. Some ways you could change things up include having a conference call or recording a training video once rather than repeatedly hosting Zoom meetings to train different sales reps.

Turn off notifications. Every ping on your phone or notification on your desktop distracts you from your work. If you turn off work-related notifications, Borsellino recommends setting expectations with your team so they know you won’t respond to Slack messages after 5pm, for example, or that you will only respond to emails once an hour.

Schedule screen-free breaks. Taking regular breaks from your devices can significantly improve your physical and mental health. Borsellini suggests getting in the habit of taking screen breaks every 40 minutes. Get up from your desk and walk around or physically move for a few minutes.

Venture outside, if possible. If the weather allows, get outside for some fresh air and natural light. If you used to step out of the office for lunch or coffee, use that time to take a quick walk and give yourself a mental break.

Create tech-free zones. When you are working from home, it’s a good idea to designate some rooms as device-free areas. If your home office happens to be in your bedroom, you can declare your bed a device-free zone. This prevents you from mindlessly scrolling your phone before you go to sleep.

Only use one screen at a time. Another way to manage your screen time is to stick to one screen at a time when possible. When you are checking your phone or glancing at the TV while listening on a Zoom call, your brain is overloaded. Focus on one task at a time to reduce digital fatigue.

Your screen time can start to stack up if you don’t stay mindful of it, especially if you no longer have a commute to the office or to see clients. Too much screen time can sap your energy and leave you feeling drained. If you want to scale back the amount of time you spend on your phone or computer, try the ideas above. By being more intentional with your screen-related activities, you can reduce your digital fatigue and bring more balance to your workday.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Regina Borsellino contributes articles for The Muse.