This week in our Curb Your Screen Addiction series, we’re talking about how screen time monitoring apps can help you rein in your phone use. If you’re like me, then you found yourself quite surprised by your screen time stats when  Apple updated iOS to include the Screen Time app in their Today view.

Related: Curb Your Screen Time Addiction series: Narrating your phone use aloud. 

The good news is that screen time monitoring apps can help us be more aware of our phone use and set goals for cutting back. And yes, I realize using your phone to spend less time on your phone may sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.

When I starting using the Screen Time app (slash had it thrust upon me; thanks, Apple!) I found that I actually spent less time on my phone than I expected, but had more daily “pick-ups” (aka picking up my phone) than I wanted. So, for me, just adjusting my notification settings so I was less tempted to constantly unlock and check my phone during the day made a big difference. (If you’re an Android user, try unGlue or Digital Wellbeing.)

If you want more pro-active guidance on reducing your screen time, you can also try Moment, a new app for iOS and Android that offers personal coaching to help you meet tech goals.

And if you want a more tough love approach, try an app that blocks time-wasting apps after you’ve reached a set limit. I’ve found the Freedom app particularly helpful, especially because it can sync to all your devices. Or hey, you can even use one of your kids’ screen time monitoring apps for your own phone. Because sometimes even parents need a little (self) parenting.

Other posts in our Curb Your Screen Time Addiction Series: 

Make a tech-free sacred space in your home

Turn off your notifications

Using the grayscale setting on your phone

Narrate your phone use aloud