I need more time! For sure, you know the feeling too. In the morning you get up, eat something, get ready, do something quickly and then you go to work. In the evening you come home tired, make yourself something to eat and actually go straight to bed. At least that’s how I feel! I don’t even watch TV in the evening, otherwise I would know where the time has gone.
The time is running …
It is interesting that outsiders always think that my time management seems to be exceptionally good.
In fact, I do quite a lot every day, and I usually find myself very productive. I worked full-time until a few weeks ago, I am also studying media informatics, have a daughter with whom I would like to spend even more time, and have a weekend relationship that requires about a two-hour drive from door to door household, where I make a lot of things myself, from bread to dishwashing detergent, and don’t buy them ready-made, etc. But I hardly have any time to meet up with friends and relatives or a little longer. For that reason, but above all because I have the feeling that I is somehow falling short in all of this, I reduced my working hours to 80% a few weeks ago. Simply read a book with a nice cup of tea in the rainy weather, cuddled up on the sofa, that would be something!
Maybe it’s just that I can’t calm down. I always try to make some progress. I want to find out more, live more sustainably, do research, study, balance … and another day is over. Far too often I use my smartphone in between (and much more awkwardly than on the computer).
At Mucking out over the past few days and weeks I’ve devoured a few audio books. One of them was the book “More Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. The two product designers from Silicon Valley contributed to the development of time wasters like YouTube. They also longed for more time and show in their book many possibilities that they have successfully implemented for themselves. While listening, it dawns on me that you are probably right: We waste a lot of time by constantly using our cell phones. The business model of many apps is specially designed to encourage us to use them constantly. The authors know exactly because they helped create such apps.
The fear of missing something, also called “FoMO” (English: Fear of missing out), causes us again and again to check whether there is anything new. This psychological effect is deliberately (fully) used by app developers in order to keep their customers reaching for their mobile phones and looking at their application. That was how they earned their money. At the same time they also succumbed to this urge, with the result that the time slipped between their fingers too.
A look at the screen time analysis of my smartphone, whose battery, which has already been replaced, is in danger of running out well before the end of the day, confirms what the two gentlemen describe in the book: It is no different for me than for everyone other average users. The mean value of activations (i.e. taking the cell phone and looking at it) has been 60 to almost 100 times a day in the last few weeks! WTF ?! But that’s not all: Instagram, Pinterest & Co. always manage to suck me in, not to mention the browser. The ability to quickly look up something or even go shopping from anywhere is also simply great.
“Delete all” – ENTER
The two authors then proceeded radically in order to regain their time: The hurdle, quickly at Instagram or Facebook (or any other social media platform or source of information) to peek over as high as possible. The following procedure is mentioned here particularly effective, albeit radical:
- turn off all notifications
- delete mail apps
- delete browser apps
- delete Instagram / Facebook / Pinterest / …
- Messenger services such as SMS / WhatsApp / Telegram / … delete
- everything that actively attracts your attention: delete!
Programs such as map apps, alarm clocks, notes and so on.
Okay, I get very weird at the thought too.
Another possibility would be to always log out correctly after using the app. This means that you have to enter your password every time to use the app. That is an obstacle that could take away the spontaneous pleasure again. Of course, it would be even more blatant if you didn’t even use your password manager.
As a light version, you could simply move the time-wasting apps to the last page of your home screen. Marie Kondo writes in her new book “Joy at Work” that it would be useful to simply leave the first page blank and only arrange the icons from the second page onwards. Then stored thematically in folders, you would have to press one more button to open the app.
To learn time
Basically, I always thought it was smart to sort the apps by frequency of use to save time when using them. But it makes sense to me that I save even more time if I don’t use the app at all! Because I feel really good to set my life free from unnecessary things, I will now also apply this on my smartphone. I have therefore made the decision to say goodbye to a lot of apps. In the next week, I’ll drastically reduce my activation frequency and my screen time significantly. I already turned off most of the notifications yesterday, that’s something that keeps distracting you and makes you reach for the phone.
A fashionable term that now also occupies me. I want to spend a week trying to focus on other things, save battery power and use the time gained differently. For example, to just read a book – we just had the rainy weather for that.