January is a great time to make healthy changes and challenge yourself with new goals. If you feel like you spend most of your time in front of screens, you're not alone. Whether your job requires you to sit at a computer all day or you're just looking to cut back on your social media usage, there's plenty of products that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you feel like you're scrolling less.
Wired Senior Writer Lauren Goode joined the 3rd hour of TODAY to share some ways you can cut down on screen time. If a digital detox is on your New Year resolution list, these tips can help you build better habits. From classic games for extra family time to a good old fashion wall clock, Goode is here to help you get your eyes off that little screen attached to your hand.
Keep reading to see all eight picks that will keep you distracted from the digital world, plus more ways to cut down your digital usage.
Products to help cut down on screen time as seen on TODAY
Practice your green-thumb and invest in a few house plants for your home. When you'd normally spend a few minutes each morning checking your socials, you can change up your routine by checking in on your new housemates. The brand has a variety of different options for every budget, from plants for beginners to pet-friendly options.
Avoid keeping your phone by your bed by getting a digital clock for your nightstand (this can decrease night time scrolling!). This pick isn't your ordinary bedroom clock. According to the brand, with either a tap or snap of your fingers, the time, date and temperature will appear. And since it normally sits blank, you don't have to worry about a bright light shining in your room during the night.
Another way to stop relying on your phone for the time is to lean on a classic analog clock, and Goode says this is the wall clock to go with. This option by Braun comes in classic black to suit most design decors and the brand says it has easy-to-read numbers as well as hour and minute hands. The brand also offers a smaller version of the analog clock.
The new year is a great time to pick up a new hobby and tap into a new skill. Even if you don't have a musical background, the brand says this sound hole is easy to learn and "you won't hit a wrong note." You'll be playing soothing and ambient sounds in no time.
Bond over something that's more than the TV with a family-friendly game night. With over 15,000 Amazon reviews, the brand says this is a fun and fast-paced card game that requires you to collect the best sushi dish combinations. One verified-reviewer wrote, "My in-laws love to whip this one out when we’re trying to kill some time before Sunday dinner. Having the short rounds makes it super easy to pause and come back to it later. This has easily become one of my favorite games."
For even more Sushi Go! fun, you can grab the deluxe party version.
If you're looking to introduce a nostalgic game to your kids or host the ultimate game night for friends, Jenga is a classic and an Amazon No.1 bestseller. The rules of the game are easy, the first one to pull out a block and cause the stack to fall loses!
If you really want to commit and avoid the digital world, a trip to the great outdoors might be the solution for you. Goode suggests taking a camping trip or even getting a tent for some backyard camping fun. According to the brand, this camping tent fits up to six people and provides protection from rain and wind, and features a screen to keep the bugs at bay.
Although this may seem counterintuitive, Goode says since it has voice activation and bluetooth capabilities, it helps you to not pick up your phone. Whether you're looking up a random fact, checking the weather or setting alarms, this gadget can tell you the weather, news, set timers and alarms, play music and more, according to the brand.
More ways to cut down on screen time
Keeping a journal
Experts told Shop TODAY that keeping a daily journal is a good way to declutter your mind and reduce screen time in the morning, or before bedtime. In fact, social psychologist Dr. James W. Pennebaker found that writing about your emotions can help reduce stress.
This affordable find is under $10, comes in a variety of colors and has 160 blank pages for you to write in.
Learning to bake
Channel your inner Betty Crocker and discover a passion for baking. If deciding what to make puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders, there are plenty of ways to get recipes and ingredients shipped right to your door. This Mix Box from Homemade Bakers delivers the ingredients and the "how-to" on a monthly basis, so you'll always have treats to bake and enjoy.
Investing in a skin care routine
A face mask is the perfect excuse for allowing yourself to sit and do absolutely nothing for 20 minutes while it dries. Or you can use the time to wash a few dishes or tidy up a few things around your home. This clay mask will help remove excess oil and improve the appearance of pores, says the brand.
Breaking a sweat
You can check off two resolutions in one with a new fitness routine that requires you to spend less time in front of the TV. According to the brand, these gliders help target muscle groups and can be used in barre or cardio workouts, making them perfect for at-home workouts.
Add a little more resistance to your workout with these ankle bands, which can be used for mat or standing workouts.
Listening to audiobooks
While reading books on your phone or tablet may be a way to keep busy, it certainly might not help reduce your screen time. Audiobooks are an easy source of entertainment and a different take on "reading."
Whether you're eating breakfast, getting ready in the morning or going for a drive in the car, putting on an audiobook is an easy way to keep your mind engaged and your eyes off the screen. The audiobook for "Becoming" won Michelle Obama a Grammy and might be worth putting on your listening list.
Lighting candles is relaxing and might encourage you to stay off your phone, especially as it gets closer to bedtime. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation encourages setting an "electronics curfew" at least two hours before bedtime to ensure a good night's rest.
Alleviating the strain
If you simply can't stay away from your devices, investing in a pair of blue light glasses can help reduce the strain on your eyes. According to a study conducted by Harvard researchers, the blue light from our phones, especially when used closer to bedtime, can suppress melatonin secretion in the body.
This stylish pair has over 12,000 ratings, comes in a variety of colors and is only $17!
When nothing else works
Whether you need some quality time on family game night or simply want to enforce an extra measure of self-control, this "phone jail" might just be what you need to achieve it.