Struggling for New Year’s resolution ideas? Digital detox apps could help

It’s that time of the year again. As if January wasn’t going to be enough of a pain, it’s time to field near-constant questions about how you’re going to improve yourself in 2020. Yep, it’s time to pick a New Year’s resolution!

If you’re struggling for ideas, you could just do the same half-arsed thing as everyone else. However, I’d recommend turning to your phone for inspiration. Before you stop me, saying that you spend too much time on your mobile already, that’s exactly what I’m getting at.

There are apps out there that show exactly how many hours and minutes you’ve been spending on your phone and its various apps.

They can also tally up things like how many times you’ve picked up or unlocked your phone, and the number of notifications you receive over the course of a day.

For Android users, the big one is Google’s Digital Wellbeing app, while Apple’s Screen Time serves pretty much the same purpose for iPhone users. There are also plenty of third-party options out there too.

While you probably already know which apps you’ve been wasting far too much time on, there’s nothing like seeing your exact usage stats in black and white.

And what you do with these insights is up to you.

Both Digital Wellbeing and Screen Time allow you to set limits on apps, notifications and calls, in order to make your phone a bit less distracting.

For instance, if you want to spend less time using social media apps (it’s always social media apps), you can set a maximum amount of time you spend using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Once you hit that limit, you’ll lose access to them for the day − unless of course you then craftily change your digital wellbeing settings.

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Or you could take matters into your own hands. Spend too much time on Instagram? You could try to go cold turkey and delete the app.

Can’t put your phone down at bedtime? You could buy a clock and leave your mobile in a different room at night.

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