How to spend less time on Instagram

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Have you ever wanted to spend less time on Instagram, so you can spend more time being present in the real world? Yet within minutes or days, you find yourself automatically scrolling through your feed throughout the day?

If you wish it was easier to spend less time on Instagram (a.k.a. IG), I’ve got you!

Here are four tips that’ll help you feel less addicted to Instagram and free up your time, so you can focus on important things that truly matter to you.


Many of us love IG because we’re secretly nosy and love seeing other peoples lives. Whether it’s religiously checking their Insta-stories, or scrolling through your home feed, you can’t help but watch what others are doing.

However, like a good TV show on Netflix, the more time you spend watching others, the more you crave watching them.

This wouldn’t be so bad if what you were watching was educational and improving your life in someway. However, most content on social media is more superficial than educational. The more superficial content you consume, the harder it is to be present and value real and meaningful experiences in your life.

That’s why of all social media platforms IG reportedly negatively affects people’s mental health the most.

To avoid wasting your time on photos that don’t matter, the best way to use Instagram is to be an intentional contributor or learner and not a stalker.

This means using IG intentionally as a platform to share your ideas and voice. And also carefully choosing who you follow so you spend most of your consumption time learning something inspirational or helpful, as opposed to superficial and with not meaningful.


The best way to ensure you actually spend less time on IG everyday… is to simply track and reduce your activity when necessary.

Fortunately, IG added a new time management feature that makes this so much easier.I love to use this to keep myself in check.

To set it up, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to your profile, look at the top right corner and tap on the menu bar (3 horizontal lines)

  2. Tap on “Your activity” to see a daily average of how much time you spent on IG in the last week

  3. You’ll see your daily average of time spent per day using the Instagram app on your device in the last week.

  4. To manage your time, click “Set Daily Reminder” and choose the maximum time you want to spend on IG a day. After you’ve set this reminder, IG will remind you when you’ve spent your max time scrolling through the app. This really helps you be more aware of the time you actually spend on the app (and how addictive it is if you struggle to switch off).


One thing that’ll help you spend less time on Instagram is to change the notification settings.

The fewer notifications you receive, the less you’ll be tempted to open the app. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

There are two ways to do this.

The first method is to make your phone IG silent. This means you’ll turn off notifications that pop up on your phone. To do this simply go to your phones settings and turn on Instagram notifications.

The second method (which you can do in addition to the first method) is to change the notifications you receive in the app itself. To do this, go to your profile, click on the menu bar, tap on “your activity” and tap on “Notification Settings”. Doing this will help you choose which notifications you receive by simply turning off the ones you don’t want to receive.


Sometimes the biggest time sucker is editing your photos and writing captions. I know when I take photos, I’ll usually take a lot and spend a while going through every single one and shortlisting my fave to edit.

Trouble is, if you do this after every time you take a photo, you actually waste time.

This is because you are context switching. Context switching is when you’re doing one task like writing an email or doing something work related, and you stop what you’re doing to edit photos and write captions for posting them.

Though this feels only natural, interrupting a task you were doing at work or at home, is distracting and makes you less productive. According to the American Psychological Association, when people try to perform more than one task at a time, they do worse at both tasks because the person takes longer to get into the flow after switching a task and as such, the work takes longer. Statistics show it takes an average of 25 minutes to really get into the flow of what you’re doing.

This is why I don’t go through photos, nor edit them or write captions on the same day I take photos. I instead find a time in my diary to go through photos, edit them, schedule them and write photos. Planoly is an amazing app for scheduling your Instagram photos and captions.