Reducing Screen Time

A haphazard look at some options for reducing screen time in covid.

Screens All the Time

With working from home and restrictions on movement and socialising you might be spending more time on screens than ever before.

I know I am, as I'm living alone and working from home. I normally try a curfew on screens after 8pm, exceptions exist for weekly games and when friends want to chat. I don't have the option of face-to-face conversations at home. And with no reasons not to I'm happily working away

As to why, I'm connecting too much screen time with sleep related issues, possible phone addiction, and remembering how to function around other people when we end perpetual lockdown.

Brain Dump of ways to Reduce Screen Time

Some initial ideas to reduce screen time. They're all things you can do if living alone. With some notes of what I could do.

Some ideas won't go anywhere, but just having the idea might be enough.

  • More Walking. Go outside some walking, 10 minutes or 3 hours it's all good. It's linked to all sorts of positives and here it's been a fairly mild winter. I might add a second weekly long walk onto daily outings and sunday ramble.
  • Other outside exercise. Something active that's outdoors and not walking. For me this would be using my bike, starting up running on the beach or the unlikely prospect of winter paddleboarding.
  • Meeting more people for exercise. In the UK meeting one person for exercise is best prospect of social contact outside of work and home bubble. Meeting others has become a mental effort but time to make more time for sociable walks.
  • Getting a phone without a screen. Using mobiles for calls is fine, but risks more screen time before and after the call. A dumb phone or a landline might be an idea for social contact. Only time I've considered getting a landline in several years!
  • Cooking. Lots of us are eating more at home so spending some more time preparing food has many benefits. I might try making things in the evening I can't eat straight away, like chutney or fruit cake.
  • Gardening. If you have the luxury of an outdoor space then consider doing whatever you can in winter. I could claim a border in our shared garden, at least for a few months.
  • Volunteering. Though many places are closed volunteering out in the world seems to still be in demand. Providing social contact and purpose. My social enterprise is online, but I could look at what people are needed for in Exmouth.
  • Screenless Hobby. ¬†Take up a screenless hobby at home. Expand out an existing hobby or take up a new one such as knitting, an instrument or painting. I could start up drawing again or learn to use a drum I've got.
  • Home Jobs. Any internal or external home jobs that need doing. I might get in some furniture to build, like a sofa!
  • Offline Learning or Writing. Brushing up on old notes or remember how to use a pen. for me this is languages. I could do with spending some time going over Polish grammar or doing some letter writing
  • More Reading. Reading of physical books. I love reading so an easy one for me. Risk of losing 1-3 days to an absorbing book though.
  • Offline Work. If you work online then think about the option of moving some of it offline. I'm starting to do some of my gaming lists by printing off drafts and annotating them with a pen
  • Relaxing about the home. Without a screen might be a solo game, puzzle, listening to music or yoga. Dancing around the flat, sitting and thinking or taking time with food.

Finishing Up

Lots of options for not using a screen. At least I got a few ideas.

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What ways have you used during lockdown to reduce your screen time?



Duncan is an aspiring creative nomad, who publishes random lists and tools for roleplaying games. Hobbies include salsa, games, books, podcasts, languages and history.
It varies. Probably in Europe