Last week I wrote about an app I had previously downloaded called Moment. It’s an app that lets you track how much time you spend on your phone every day, breaking it down into categories so you can see where you waste the most of your time. I decided I would spend the first week without putting a time limit on myself so that I could get a better estimate for how much time I really spend on my phone.
I waste A LOT of time on my phone. Not to make too many excuses but it was my sisters 18th birthday this past weekend and I spent a reasonable amount of time researching flights from Portland to Hawaii or Portland to Paris, but aside from that I still found myself picking up my phone at every possible opportunity. The more I focused on not spending time on my phone the more I was drawn to it. I fell into a deep trance multiple times and kept trying to pull myself back out, but failed miserably the entire week.
I kept denying the results to myself, hoping that I would miraculously just put my phone down and get back to my life. I tried to make excuses; blaming it on the plane ticket research, which then led to research on a new car, and then countless hours on Facebook scrolling through different profiles and reading posts in different groups. Each day waking up and putting 40 minutes on my phone before doing anything else. I was so distracted by the results I couldn’t focus on how to succeed. The more I sat around wasting time the worse I felt. By doing this I was just denying myself the opportunity to succeed, because I wasn’t giving it a chance. Instead I was falling into a dangerous way of thinking, assuming that because I had failed so far there would be no hope so I should just continue down the same destructive path. But I was wrong, because if there is way in, there is always a way back out.
It was depressing knowing that I was doing something I didn’t enjoy spending my time on, yet continuing to do it. Almost as if it was an addiction that kept pulling me back in every time I tried to get away. I found that I was most successful at not thinking about my phone or missing its presence as long as I didn’t have it with me. If I knew it was in my pocket or on the night stand next to me then I felt drawn to it, constantly wondering what was going on in the rest of the world while I was doing other things.
I don’t want to be controlled by something so small. I want to spend my time on things that are important to me, rather than things that just aimlessly pass the time. This week I’m going to set myself a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes. To make the process transition smoothly I plan on staying off my phone first thing every morning; no Facebook, no checking email, no texting until after 10am. I would like to fill this time with something else that I enjoy doing but I don’t have anything specific in mind yet, so I will work through that as the week goes along. I also plan on leaving my phone home when I leave the house, unless I plan on being gone for multiple hours (I run a business from home, so I don’t want to miss too many calls), this way I won’t find it necessary to pick up my phone every time an awkward silence breaks through or I’m waiting for something.
Hoping to slowly lead myself into more productive ways to spend my time.