If you’re like most people, your smartphone is the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check before you sleep.
You also pick it up several times during the day for knowing what your friends are up to, getting your mind off a stressful project, feeling better about your overflowing inbox, or because you’re bored in the toilet.
Not all the time you spend on your phone is hurting you, of course. Phones help you stay connected to family far away, some apps can help you track your productivity each day, and it can also help you stay informed about the upcoming election and the Kardashians.
But it’s no secret that sometimes (or, most times) your smartphone can affect your productivity. Notification beeps can hinder your focus, social comparison on social media can make you feel shitty about your own life, and did you see how Khole celebrated her daughter’s quarantine birthday? Ugh.
Knowing how much and how often you use your devices can help you gain valuable insights about digital well-being.
So, how much phone time are you exposing yourself to during a workday?
Let’s look at a few screen time statistics to find out.
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How Much Time Does The Average Person Spend On Their Phone?
Whether you’re looking for iPhone screen time, or android screen time, here are a few statistics on screen time to answer your questions.
1. A study of 11k RescueTime users found that people spend an average of around 3 hours and 15 minutes a day on phones.
Let’s divide by geographies and look at the amount of time spent by people from different countries.
2. As per eMarketer, the average US adult spends 3 hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices.
That’s roughly 50 days a year.
3. And the average screen time in the UK stands at 3 hours 23 minutes per day as per CodeComputerLove.
But averages can be tricky, so let’s read more into these numbers.
Phone Addiction: How Often Do We Check Our Phones?
Here are more stats on our digital addiction.
4. The data of 11,000 RescueTime users show that the top 20% of smartphone users spend more than 4.5 hours on their phones during weekdays.
5. While we are at it, the average person spends more time on their phone during their weekday than they do during weekends.
But, how does it matter how much time we’re spending on our phones? Maybe it’s because we’re catching on that new season on Netflix. It’s not during work hours that someone compulsively uses their smartphone.
Glad you asked.
6. Most people check their phones 58 times a day. Thirty of those times are during work hours.
So, no, it is not your total screen time that is impacting your efficiency, it’s how often you are picking up your phone and getting distracted.
If you think it doesn’t matter how many times you pick up your phone, think again.
7. Most people spend 1 minute 15 seconds (roughly) on their phones once they pick them up. And we pick them up roughly every 1 hour and 43 minutes.
8. This means you lose 37.5 minutes a day during working hours to your smartphone. And that’s just when we take the minimum numbers into account.
9. 70% of phone-pick-up sessions are less than 2 minutes in length. But they can start off a chain reaction. 50% of screen time sessions start within 3 minutes of the previous one.
But, why does this even matter?
This compulsive checking can be hazardous for our productivity.
10. According to a study by the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to that deep focus on a task once you have been distracted.
11. AMA found that even brief mental blocks can cause you to lose as much as 40% of your productive time.
12. If you think most of the time you spend on your phone is done doing “productive” activities, the in-depth study by CodeComputerLove will show you otherwise.
Don’t start blaming the Millenials just yet. It’s not just them that are addicted to their phones.
13. Apple in its US users’ screen time statistics found that Gen X spends 169 minutes on their phone per day and Baby Boomers spend 136 minutes.
While it might seem a significant difference per day, each generation spends over a month on their phone per year.
So, no one is immune to the harmful effects of our smartphones on our mental health and productivity.
How To Reduce Your Average Screen Time?
Here are some quick steps to reduce your average screen time and get more out of every day.
Do a smartphone cleanse: Delete the apps that you don’t truly use or get benefit from. You do not need social media apps on your phone. While we are at a smartphone cleanse, keep your home screen minimal. Keep only the apps that you need frequently. This will allow you to not get sucked into the rabbit hole of scrolling.
Keep your screen black and white during work hours: It is shocking how much the colors glue us in. Instagram wouldn’t seem so pretty if all was in black and white. Facebook wouldn’t be so appealing. Turn on your phone’s grayscale when you work.
Turn off your phone’s notifications: Most of the things that grab your attention can wait. If you return that text a little late, no one would mind. You can wait to read that email too. That red dot and buzz are what will kill your flow and focus. You can open them when you have the time – and respond at your own pace.
Allot times for no devices: Spend an hour or two each day or week where you don’t check your phone or any other device. During this time, you could cook, read, write, walk, nap – anything except checking your phone. You won’t miss much in an hour, but your mind will feel brand new.
Fix times for which you check social media and email: Organize your schedule with some social media time. During this time, all you will do is check social media and reply to emails. Put it into your calendar and stick to it. Your brain will soon learn to want to check social media at that same time each day. This will also rid you of all guilt of checking social media and email when you’re not supposed to.
Resist the temptation to check your phone during the first hour of morning and night: Screens disrupt your melatonin production, which in turn would affect your sleep quality. Poor sleep quality will be evident in your mood, performance, and productivity. An hour before bedtime, put your phone away.
Read a book, spend time with your family, journal (here are a few things you can write about), go on a walk, or do some light yoga instead. In the morning, let Instagram or Facebook not be the first things you see. Get a morning routine in place that focuses only on you. Enjoy a cup of quiet coffee, make wholesome breakfast, or do some light stretching.
Editor’s Note: I also recommend installing RescueTime to track your time on screen. And proactively take steps to minimize your distractions. I’ve used it for over five years now, and learned a lot about my screen habits.
Screens aren’t all bad. If used correctly, they can contribute more to our efficiency. The key is to not let them get the best of us.
Understanding the screen time and its effect on our work can take us a step closer to digital wellbeing.
Do you know how much time you spend on your Smartphone and your laptop every day? How are you going to leverage these screen time stats? Let me know in the comments below.
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