The holidays are here! Download Offtime to find a balance in our hyperconnected world.

For all the benefits of our age’s digital connectivity, most of us can agree that we spend too much time distracted by screens. Offtime is designed to release us from the clutches of being “always on” and focus portions of our time on things that really matter.

Its clever technology analyses your phone usage, illuminating for you what you are doing, when you are doing it and for how long. Armed with this knowledge, you can then use Offtime to set reminders and restrict access to any apps that you typically find distracting. You can block notifications, calls and texts from people who might disturb you (and you can specify which contacts can still get through). You can even invite partners, kids or colleagues to share some “offtime” with you!

Conceived in Berlin, Offtime is the brainchild of psychologist Alexander Steinhart, who built it in collaboration with the Humboldt University of Berlin. The company incorporates serious scientific research on wellbeing and productivity into the development of their project – so you can trust them with your time.

The Offtime team says: “We strive to provide sustainable solutions in the age of hyperconnectivity. We support people to create bespoke bubbles of space and time, where they can be at ease and in control. ‘Unplugging’ isn’t isolation, it’s an opportunity to reconnect.

“We want to bring people closer to the things that really matter to them, whatever that may be. Ultimately, we hope to have technologies and usage habits that help us stay focused, mindful and happy.”

The Washington Post says: “Offtime is a good tool for keeping your tech use in check.”

There is some bad news, though. iOS users can only access a limited and poorly reviewed version of the app. The comprehensive one is available only to Android users.

It’s time to regain control with Offtime (if you have an Android phone, that is).

December 2018