We’re a nation pushed to the limit when it comes to time and having enough of it, and a recent survey has shown that the average Brit is going to extreme measures to combat their time-poor life.
Research conducted last month by webuyanycar.com revealed over half of the population said they are constantly rushing around, with over a quarter failing to make their bed because they are just too short for time. Though a third of those polled admitted to waking up feeling stressed because they just have too much on their plate, the average Joe Bloggs is still amazingly finding time to scroll through their Facebook and Instagram feeds while their personal life simultaneously dwindles.
It appears we’re prioritising social media over family. But why?
Be honest. How often do you find yourself watching (yet another) Unicorn cake Instagram story? And how many times a week are you indulging in a Snapchat selfie binge? Yes, yes, I know that new filter just gives you a gorgeous glow, but is it a good use of time? Could you count all your social media apps on your fingers and more importantly, could you guess how many notifications you get from them each day? For most of us it’s more than we like to admit and for a few of us, social media has already become a serious problem, that’s bordering on addiction.
Sounding all too familiar? Then be assured you’re one of millions in the same boat.
If you’re wasting precious time swiping, liking and reposting, here’s how to join the anti-social media movement and begin to find time for yourself again.
With social media, you’re really dealing with two different issues. The first is the constant comments, shares and likes persistently disrupting you with a ping or vibrate. But this can be easily fixed. Simply say “NO!” to notifications and switch push messages off. This will help you deal with what’s happening on your own time, rather than being tempted to stray to social.
A more harmful way that social media distracts us from what we’re doing is the constant need to check in. We use checking social media as an excuse or escape but once we’re there, it sucks us in and before we know it, the quick 60 second check turns into 20 minutes of mindless scrolling and before lunch time you’ll be up to date with every single one of Donald Trump’s offensive tweet and White House sackings. Breaking this habit can be a little tricky, but it’s well worth it.
Start by putting social media on a schedule. Instead of checking in all day long, set certain times of the day when you allow yourself to go to it. Give yourself 10 minutes during your lunch break and 20 minutes in the evening. If you use social media for work, put it on your work schedule as well. Set a timer if you have to. Just get out of the habit of checking in anytime you need a little mental break and discipline yourself to only access channels at your allotted times. I promise you, Kim Kardashian’s Instagram story will be there waiting for you after work.
In extreme cases you can download software such as anti-Social, which you can set to block access to social sites for a period of time specified by you. This may be particularly useful for those who can’t resist a Daily Mail Showbiz fix.
I’m going to say something audacious here, so prepare to be blown away. Your phone can be switched off. Yes, you heard me correctly…. if you look closely at your mobile you’ll discover that the button you push to switch your phone back on after you’ve completely drained the battery, can also be used to voluntarily switch it off when it still has charge. Amazing stuff, right?
Sacrasm aside, you must realise that it’s perfectly fine to turn off your phone, and any tech device for that matter, or silence it and set it aside at times. You don’t have to be reachable 24 hours a day. Make your phone and social media work for you and use it as a tool to increase productivity instead of letting it distract you from what’s truly important.
The fourth and easiest way to free up time for yourself is to be a little more structured and self-disciplined. If you truly want some ‘me-time’ book it in to your phone diary and honour that appointment in the same way you would an important hospital appointment.
The same rule applies for your family; you MUST make it a priority and schedule this in as well. This may sound clinical but you need to realise that it’s the time you spend with your family or partner that they will remember. Binging on LadBible videos may be entertaining in the short-term, but it doesn’t make memories. Being in the present, interacting and initiating activities is what really matters.
Now go and have a great weekend…. I just don’t want to read about it on Facebook.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner -The Time Doctor