Christmas and the holidays should be about spending time with your loved ones and friends. It’s hard to do that when you’re constantly connected to the internet, scrolling social media or reading emails. You need to learn to focus on what’s important around you so you don’t miss out on life.
To that end, I’ve compiled a list of apps that will help you disconnect during Christmas so you have more time for other things. Say goodbye to annoying emails and message notifications, and kiss your loved one until he or she knows how much they mean to you.
Freedom | Block Distractions
So, you want to work on your Christmas present ideas, but the work keeps emailing you, or is social media calling your name? The Freedom app is designed to block any applications on your device, giving you downtime to unwind. It also lets you disconnect during a set period, such as Christmas.
There’s a handy scheduling tool where you can set daily times when you don’t want the internet or social apps to distract you. If you plan on blocking your emails, just make sure you set an automatic response so everyone knows you’re away from keyboard/screen.
Stay Focused: Site & App Block
While you can use Stay Focused to improve your productivity at work, it also helps with peace of mind. It lets you set the days and times you want different apps blocked, which means no pesky notifications. You can now spend time with your children during Christmas without distractions.
Another excellent feature is showing you how much time you’ve spent during the day staring at the screen. You’ll notice which apps have the most of your attention and can proceed to block them. All you need is the self-discipline to do so, and hopefully, your family is enough motivation.
Digital Detox: Focus & Live
Here’s an app that has your state of mind at heart. Digital Detox understands how toxic being connected all the time can be. When you don’t have a signal on your phone or your data has run out, you panic that you’ve missed something. If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to disconnect completely.
You can schedule times when you want your device to disconnect from the internet and apps. You’ll have more time to focus on Christmas and your family and not stress about notifications. Digital Detox even makes it fun, granting you achievements when you accomplish goals.
Minimalist phone: Productivity
If you can’t disconnect completely due to the nature of your work or life, then Minimalist phone: Productivity may be able to help. It lets you select specific apps or modes you want to block while retaining other notifications. In this way, you can ease your way off your device and still focus on Christmas.
You can customize several settings, such as the color and themes. Also, it’s helpful if there are apps you spend way too much time on that you want to wean yourself off. When you’re ready, you can use it to go to the extreme and cut yourself from the internet completely.
What better way to motivate yourself to disconnect during Christmas than to study your current behavior. Offscreen analyses every action you take on your device. Some stats include how often you tap on your screen, how long you spend on social media, and how regularly you check your phone.
From these details, you’ll be able to set goals for the acts you find yourself doing the most. For example, you can try to spend more time away from your phone. You can also make it a habit to unlock your device later in the day than you usually do.
Perhaps you only want to limit how much you use your phone during Christmas time. You know you need more sleep so you have the energy to spend time with the family the next day. Phoneless may be the ideal app for you, sharing your habits so you can make key decisions.
If you find yourself spending way too much time watching videos or browsing social media late into the morning, just use the app to disconnect at a specific time. You can also monitor which apps you use the most. The goal is to be phoneless for as long as possible every day.
Many publications have awarded Opal as the number one screen-time focus app. While monitoring how much time you spend on your phone, you can decide how much you want to cut it. It will force you away from your device so you can join your family for Christmas.
With less time looking at your phone and waiting for notifications, you’ll be less stressed. It will help you reconnect with nature and family while forgetting that your device exists. The best method is to study the reports the app provides to see where you can improve.
Forest: Focus for Productivity
Here’s an app for disconnecting from the internet and social media that I personally like. Forest: Focus for Productivity has adorable visuals that will motivate you to stay away from your phone. There are lush trees and plants that will grow in your virtual forest the more you block apps and notifications.
The more you improve your habit with Forest, the more real trees are planted in real life. The app has partners that will make sure nature grows the more you improve your life at home. It’s a Christmas present to yourself and the Earth.
It’s time to reconnect with your family
Now you have no excuse not to spend time with your friends and family over Christmas. You can disconnect from work and distractions while focusing on those around you. If you’re still struggling, ask someone to smack your phone out your hand when you’re being anti-social.