I was sitting there aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, thinking about all the things I needed to get done. Not just the things I NEEDED to get done, but the things I always complain I never have any time for. And then it hit me.
What if I stopped wasting so much time on my phone, and used those precious hours on something more important? Before I could do anything, I wanted to get an estimate for exactly how much time I was wasting on my phone in total, so I downloaded this app called Moment, and set myself a limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By 4 PM the alarm was already going off any time I unlocked my phone, letting me know I had used all of that 1 hour and 30 minutes. I was a little dumbfounded that the day was still full, yet I had used up all of my phone time before it was even dinner time. I had a mix of emotions, mostly withdrawals. It was a weird feeling that made it seem as if I missing something by not being on my phone, like something detrimental was happening and I was stuck somewhere else and completely helpless. By 8PM I extended the time limit to 2 hours and 30 minutes, and then managed to max out that time.
The next day I decided that I wouldn’t put a time limit on myself at all, and instead would just see how many hours I spent on my phone during a normal day.
5 HOURS AND 43 MINUTES!
Wow…If that’s the normal amount of time I spend on my phone daily that means I spend roughly 40 hours on my phone every single week. That is a full time job. I could do SO many things with 40 hours! That’s exactly where all of my time is going, and it was so easy to get trapped in this repetitiveness without even realizing it.
I’m going to keep tracking this daily and see if I have any habits that I can break. Like for instance, I know that I spend around 30-45 minutes on my phone first thing in the morning while I lay in bed. I have a 45 minute guitar practice schedule that I try to get in daily and this could be the perfect opportunity for it.
I’m going to test it for the rest of the week, and make adjustments accordingly. Because with 5 hours and 43 minutes a day I could build a new business..or two.
Sometimes you just have to sit down and touch base with your inner self. I’ve spent the last few weeks getting in touch with all the things I love to do but always say I never have the time for. I painted for the first time in 2 years, since the evening after my grandmother passed away. It felt so good just to let it all out. Since then I have painted 3 more.
I’m also experimenting with short stories and will be entering a contest. It’s really started testing me on my descriptive writing, preparing me for my first try with NaNoWriMo this November, where I will write a Novel in November. Here is a bit of my short story…
Running through what was once a mountain full of lively green trees, now perished and burning to the ground, branches crackling beneath my feet, I can sense the space between us closing in. Beads of sweat beginning to formulate at the base of my neck, joining forces with the edge of my hairline; reminding me of the uncertainty that still lies ahead.
I’ve been spending a countless amount of hours at the coffee shop lately, while I practice getting out of the box with some writing prompts. I’m very nervous to try this, but I have always wanted to write a novel, and now that I’m decluttering distractions and making more room for the things that I really enjoy, I can do this.
We also took our kids on an 8 mile hike in the mountains to get away from electronics and to just be outside together as a family. It was a great time.
I wouldn’t say everything has been a complete fail, but because I’m human, I have had my moments.
I’ve managed to not walk or bike to work a single day this week. I feel like I spent the majority of the week making excuses for why I wasn’t succeeding and then every day I would say I’ll just do it the next one and I never did. In fact, my bike is still on my trainer in the garage, so realistically it probably appears that I didn’t even try very hard at all. And I didn’t.
And I should, because those set backs are distractions in a life I prefer to be decluttered. If I would have taken the extra time to grab my bike off the trainer on day one and make sure the tires had air and my bag had a spare tube, tool, and air then I would have had a much better success rate I think. So I will continue to try for it with a better attitude and outlook.
I have managed to make it the whole week not drinking Starbucks…
Until today. And then everyone at work was going on a coffee run and I felt like I needed to as well. I pondered all of this while holding a cup of folgers in my hand and then caved and got my 5 dollar drink. But I felt really guilty about it and so I don’t think it’s going to be something I will sway from again.
After all of that though, I have managed to write in my notebook every single night. Even throughout the day. I carry one in my backpack and usually add something to it during my lunch and then again before bed.
Anyways, for this trial and error, I believe that I have experienced both. So onward!
Oh, and make your self a list and let me know how you’re doing with yours.
Sometimes our to-do lists get so large that they become overwhelming. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made lists only to stare at them for an endless amount of time and then decide I’d rather be doing something else. Anything else, actually.
Today I want to put into action some ideas and hold myself accountable if (possibly) I fail to accomplish them. I’d like to eliminate some things that spend too much of my money and take too much of my time. I’ve given myself about a week to come up with a list of these goals.
1.) Drive less – For small things like going to the store or going to work, which is only 1.5 miles from my house, I’d like to walk or ride my bike. I’m going to give myself one day a week that I can drive to work if I want.
2.) Cut back on Starbucks – I drink coffee from Starbucks anywhere from 5-6 days and it adds up over time, especially with their inflating drink prices. I can have one drink every other weekend.
3.) Borrowing from the library instead of buying – I have a bad habit of getting tangled in the rows of books and buying 3-4 books at a time every time I go to a book store. I still want to be able to enjoy a good book store at least once a month, so I’m going to give myself one day a month that I can spend up to $20.00 on books, and this is when I would I plan on drinking my coffee as well. Otherwise, I can check out a book at my local library.
4.) Donating the clutter – I want to go through my stuff and donate at least 3 things a day for the next 30 days.
5.) Writing – Write in my notebook at least once a day, whether it’s a quote, idea, or anything else that comes to mind, it doesn’t matter.
So, these are the things I will be putting action into, and I’ll be open and honest about how it goes here on this blog. Here’s to positive change and developing ideas into action.
I spoke to a lady the other day that was talking on her phone, and as she was trying to multitask her transaction and talk, she ended up failing and had to tell them she would call back. But her farewell to them wasn’t you’re normal, “I’ll call you back in a few.” It was more like “I know you’re probably not going to believe me, but I will call you back. Give me about 5 minutes.” I never had the chance to know if she actually called them back or not, but I found it funny that it seemed to be a regular thing. After she hung up with them, she told me that she “sucks at calling people back.” And that she “just doesn’t have time for that.”
Then she proceeded to open up Facebook and scroll aimlessly on through.
That’s what we all do. We all think we don’t have time for things, but then we all do things like that, and then suddenly the realization is astounding.
So. Utterly. Astounding.
With the New Year just here, I’ve decided to make a few changes in my life and my journey to decluttering distractions.
I’ve decided to make time for things I enjoy. I won’t be pushing them to the back of the To Do list this year like I usually do.
I kicked off that change by taking my family snowshoeing twice already this year, and although the first weekend we got lost in the mountains, and the second we got our car so stuck we had to call the parents to come help us, it was so exhilarating to be outside trying new things and experiencing the basics of life. We all had a blast out there, and the view of the mountains was beautiful. Our end goal was to try out winter camping for the first time, but both weekends presented some struggles to that. We are hoping this coming weekend will be the one that let’s us enjoy that first time experience.
Don’t just pretend that your life looks great, why don’t you go out there and actually make it great?
The best method of decluttering distractions for me has been deciding whats most important in my life. I have a running list of all the things I’d like to do before I die, and then it’s my job to make time for those things. The most interesting thing I’ve found in the process of a bucket list, is how few things get checked off after two years of not looking at it. That’s a long stretch of time to not make room for stuff that I enjoy. In 730 days, I’ve only managed to cross 3 things off of my list. That means I’m not even dedicating 1% of my time to my goals. Now I’m honest in admitting my lack of dedication, but are you just as honest with yourself? Most days you probably work your 9-5 job, come home, do dinner, take care of the kids, and then before you know it’s time for bed and the process starts all over again. The weekend comes around and just when you thought you’ve found the time to dedicate yourself, one of the kids gets sick, or something else steals your attention. It’s a never-ending battle with reality, but saying you don’t have time for stuff is just finding an excuse, and it makes you feel better to fill people full of excuses rather than admit you just suck at prioritizing.
So what I’m saying is, find some time. Sit down and make a list of all the things you’d like to do but haven’t had the chance to do yet. Keep that list somewhere safe and add to it frequently. Don’t try to cross everything off your list all at once, and don’t become frustrated when stuff doesn’t work out the way it’s supposed to. Life works in mysterious ways, and the journey is half the fun. If it wasn’t at least a little bit difficult to make progress then everyone would be doing it!