Be honest. You probably use your smartphone way more than you should, but you’re far from alone. It’s addictive checking social media, playing games and of course just staring down at it when you’re in a socially awkward situation.
The Apple Watch and other smartwatches have tried to remedy smartphone addiction across the globe, but it’s still too early to really tell if they’ve done anything. So in the meantime, try downloading just one more app: Moment for iOS. The tool analyzes how often you and your family use your smartphones, tracks your habits and provides ways to attempt to break the addictive usage patterns.
Moment is a freemium app, so it’s free to download but you’ll have to pay to access additional features. What you can do for free is track your habits. Moment monitors how long you use your phone every day and gives you a break down of when you used it throughout the day. It can also optionally monitor your individual app usage, but this requires that you screenshot your battery statistics every day and hand it over to Moment for analyzation.
If you want to unlock the majority of the features that can help you to break your habits, you’ll need to upgrade. The Pro version of Moment is a one-time purchase of $4.99 and it adds the ability to set daily limits, restrict your usage, reminders and something called Phone Bootcamp.
After you’ve used Moment for a week so it can determine what your habits are, you can sign up for Phone Bootcamp in the app. Every day for 14 days it gives you a different task to accomplish and that’s your only job. The tasks revolve around using your phone less, so get ready.
Note: This part of the app, Phone Bootcamp, is completely optional.
If you want to get your entire family involved, that requires a separate purchase. Moment Family is a subscription service — three months for $14.99 or 12 months for $44.99. It unlocks Pro for every family member, monitors usage for every person on every iOS device and keeps all the data in sync.
Set Daily Limits
Once you’ve unlocked Pro, you can start setting daily limits for yourself (or your family with a subscription.) Tap the Settings icon then Daily Limit to set this up. Choose the amount of time you want to be able to use your iPhone each day. When that time is up, you’ll get an alert saying to get off your phone.
If you need extra discipline, turn on Force Me Off When I’m Over to hear an annoying, persistent ringing sound that won’t turn off unless you lock your phone.
Tiny Reminders is also a feature that helps make you aware of your usage. Turn this on to get an alert at a time interval of your choice (the default is 15 minutes) with a subtle sound that informs you of the time that has passed.
Screen-Free Time Keeps You Off Your Phone
My favorite Pro feature of Moment is Screen-Free Time because it’s straight to the point and perfectly effective. When you go into the app’s settings, turning on Screen-Free Time keeps you off of your phone for a given amount of time. How, you ask? It plays a loud, annoying ringing sound as soon as it’s enabled until either you turn it off or time runs out. This plays and alerts you to stop using your phone even if you aren’t actively using the app, as with daily limits.
If you need to focus on something and don’t want to give into temptation to check your phone, this is absolutely the feature you’ll use often. You can even set up a schedule for this to automatically turn on and off when you need it to, say during work hours.
Tip: You can avoid the alarm if your iPhone is on silent mode or if you just manually shut it off in the app. Since there will always be technical limitations like this, sticking to the rules and embracing the intention of the alarm is also crucial to breaking habits with Moment and staying off your device.