With many around the world working and learning from home, it can be hard to stay focused on your daily to-do list. Now more than ever, you need to monitor how you use your device and take relevant breaks if you go overboard.
Luckily, both Google and Apple have screen time management features on their software – Android and iOS, respectively. On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen time management feature is simply called (you guessed it!) Screen Time. And on Android, Google has the feature under Digital Wellbeing.
Here are some tips on how you can manage your screen time and your child’s screen time on both platforms. Screen time management helps you see how much you’re spending online to help you make informed decisions on device use.
Because, as you may already know, it can be hard to track your screen time while surfing the web – time just flies! And without such tools you won’t know how much of your time social media is eating up every single day.
Let’s start with Android:
Managing Screen time on Android
On Android Go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls or just search for digital wellbeing if you can’t find it on that path. With Digital Wellbeing you can see the total time you’ve spent on your device and an in-depth view of the most used apps with respective screen time data. Digital Wellbeing also shows you the number of times you’ve unlocked your device and the total number of received notifications in a day and within a week.
It also lets you manage the time you spent on each app in any single day.
How to Limit time you spent in an app on a single day:
Open your phone’s Settings app.
Go to Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.
Tap the chart
Tap the timer adjacent to the app you want to limit usage
Choose the maximum time you wish to spend in that app on a single day and tap Set.
N/B: When the usage timer is set, once the limit is reached, the app will be closed automatically and its icon is dimmed. If you wish to use the app more once the limit is reached, you can go through the same steps and delete the app timer. To delete the app timer, go to Settings > Wellbeing & parental controls > Dashboard then click the app timer alongside the app and choose Delete Timer from the pop-up.
Limiting time you spend on a website each day on Android
On top of limiting time spent on apps, Digital Wellbeing can also help you limit time spent on websites inside Chrome.
1. Go to Settings > Wellbeing & parental controls > Dashboard
2. Select Chrome from the app list (tap Show all apps if you cant see it on the most used apps list)
3. Tap Show sites which allows you to view your Chrome activity in Digital Wellbeing. Then, tap Show(Digital Wellbeing will show you sites you visited in that day and for how long).
4. Tap the Set time timer alongside the website and choose a time limit then select OK.
Limit Interruptions on your Android
For folks working from home, smartphones can be really distracting. To help with that Android has a way that lets you temporarily pause distracting apps using a feature called Focus Mode. With focus mode turned on you wont use distracting apps and Android will not show you any notifications from them.
How to temporarily pause distracting apps
1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
2. Go to Digital Wellbeing & parental controls and select Focus Mode
3. Select distracting apps you want to pause
4. Turn Focus Mode on manually or select Set a schedule for automatic scheduling.
N/B: Even with Focus mode turned on you can choose to take a break and use the “distracting apps.”
Do Not Disturb is yet another handy feature that can mute sound, stop vibration, and block visual disturbances. Go to Settings > Sound & vibration > Do Not Disturb. Under Do Not Disturb you can select exceptions, like Alarms and touch sounds, set what to block, schedule activation and deactivation base on events, and even how long it can last.
Managing Screen time on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Turn on Screen Time
Open the Settings app > Screen Time and tap Turn On Screen Time then click continue. Select This is My [device] or This is My Child’s [device]. Once enabled, you can track how long you’ve spent on apps and websites.
To check your screen time, go to Settings > Screen Time and select See All Activity under the graph. At this location you can also set app limits, check usage among different apps, number of notifications received and how many times it was picked up.
If it’s your child’s device, you can directly set up Screen Time directly or from your personal device using Family Sharing. But even without Family Sharing, you can manage your child’s screen time by setting a time limit and securing the settings using a passcode.