Improving your habits

Improve your digital habits


Do you feel like you spend too much time in front of your screens? Do you sometimes give in to the temptation to use them, even at times you know are inappropriate or simply out of habit? Whether as a family or alone, are you trying to find a balance between online and offline life? If so, you’re not alone.

Here are a few useful tips that you can apply to ensure that technology is at your service and not the other way around!

11 healthy habits to adopt

  1. Evaluate your habits and set usage objectives by downloading an app or by setting up the “screen time” function on devices that have it. Goals will vary depending on each person’s reality and that’s completely fine.
  2. Dare to turn off your devices, whether it’s for a few minutes, a couple of hours, or all day… The perfect occasion to question whether it’s essential to be reachable 24/7 and, at the same time, set an example for your children. If you unplug, remember to inform those who need to know so they don’t worry. They may be used to being able to reach you at all times.
  3. Avoid bringing your portable devices with you everywhere all the time by sometimes leaving them in another room, putting them away in your bag, or purposely forgetting them when you leave the house for an outdoor activity, as a family or not, or while running an errand.
  4. Reduce your cell phone usage by only checking your texts, emails, and other messages every hour, then every two hours, to finally get to only a few times a day in order to break the habit you may have developed.
  5. Remove the most addictive apps from your home screen so they aren’t visible right away to help reduce their use. You can also simply delete them so you have to access them through a search engine. Out of sight is sometimes easier.
  6. Avoid getting distracted by screens when you’re with your family or other people; what we call technoference. If you have to interrupt a conversation to check a device, justify this action to the person with you.
  7. Ask yourself two questions before checking your phone: “Is this really important?” and “Can this wait?” To be more aware of how you use your phone, attach a rubber band or something else to it as a reminder of these questions before using it.
  8. Take breaks from your screens by sometimes turning on “airplane mode” on your cell phone and by setting alarms on your computer to remind you to unplug at certain times throughout the day.
  9. Try not to check multiple screens at the same time to avoid developing a tolerance to overstimulation and multitasking.
  10. Turn off your screens when they’re not in use so they don’t become a distraction. This may seem insignificant, but it can take a few minutes to get back into a task after being interrupted by a notification.
  11. Try to maintain a viewing distance of more than 40 cm (16 in) from your screens and take regular breaks to take care of your eyes. When possible, adjust ambient lighting and avoid looking at your devices in the dark.

Bonus tips!

Feel like putting your family to the challenge? Download the fun “10 challenges to regain control of screen use” checklist.

Do you have teens? Encourage them to complete the PAUSE quiz, a fun way for them to understand their relationship with screens.