Ask HN: How do you manage screen time? | Hacker News


Lately, not at all. My iPhone screen time has reached absurd heights.

Prior to social distancing - if your hobbies generally involve computers then of course this will be difficult, but some strategies of mine...

At work:

- Instead of taking calls in front of the computer, put on headphones and "walk and talk" - for me, a number of my calls are taken while pacing around a meeting room or my living room these days. Video calls I try to do standing up and at a distance from the screen; it doesn't feel like "screen time" in the same way.

- In a meeting, laptops closed and take notes on a notepad, write on a whiteboard, etc.

Coding side projects:

- Not much you can do here, but you can do a lot of the planning and architecture work on paper or a whiteboard

Learning/research:

- The environmentally unfriendly method here would be to print articles/topics and read about these topics on a physical piece of paper

- Something like a Kindle would be a much better solution to the above - it tries to mimick the experience of a book and feels less like a screen

- Or try to find books that discuss these topics. On Amazon or from a friend or from a library

In general:

- Most of my hobbies for the longest time were computer-based which led to long hours behind a computer screen, but I've started to shift my focus to non-digital hobbies, trying to minimise screen time as much as possible. My ultimate goal (when this is technically feasible) is to have only an Apple Watch (with AirPods) that I use day-to-day and a MacBook that I use for work as little as possible (an iPad would be nice but the outlook to support software development doesn't look short-term), and hopefully no phone (the Watch roadmap is slowly inching towards being self-sufficient for calls, music, notifications, etc.)

- Woodworking: instead of buying furniture I build it

- Fitness: great for both your physical and mental health

- Reading: non-fiction for learning (as discussed above, somewhat replaces online reading), fiction for entertainment (helps replace watching TV)

I could list a number of other non-screen hobbies but really just find what works for you. It's likely there's a way you can make that work without a screen.