One thing I often say out loud is that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Although I wake up early, have a routine, I still find straggling tasks that don’t seem to ever get accomplished.
I’m not a perfectionist but I am a planner. Always have been. As a writer, this comes in handy and often saves a lot of grief on my part. But I do fall victim to spending too much time on social media, and playing my favorite game on my phone. As the cliché says, time flies.
As I’m writing this, the weekly Screen Time notification has just popped up on my iPhone. A weekly reminder of how I spent my time. Your screen time was down 5% last week, for an average of 5 hours, 19 minutes a day. And then it goes even further to show me, on which apps, that time was spent, how many times I picked up my phone, and even how many notifications I received. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.
Lately, I average about the same amount of screen time every week. When I start complaining that I didn’t have time to write or give time to a project, it makes me wonder: How can I better utilize that 5 hours and 19 minutes?
A study from the National Institute of Health indicates that children who spent more than 2 hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests. And children who spent more than 7 hours of screen time experienced thinning of brain cells. Research also shows that prolonged screen time for working adults can affect their mental health in two ways — reduced productivity at work due to device usage, and in turn, stress created by a lack of productivity.
Let’s face it – electronics are a part of everyone’s daily life. It’s hard not to be on social media, or play those addictive games. For many of us, social media has become a significant part of our writing life and business life. However, there are a couple of simple things I changed to help me be more productive and preserve some brain cells.
Put it on the schedule
About a year ago, my screen time was actually around 8 hours a day. Although that time included listening to podcasts, reading the Bible app, and other “good stuff”, I was appalled by how much time I spent on social media. It was a wake-up call that I was wasting valuable time, so I decided to schedule the time I actually spend on social media.
Plan in advance
You guys know that I’m serious about my daily routine. Wearing two hats – teacher and writer – forces me to use my time wisely. So, I spend no more than hour each morning getting all my posts done for the day. No scrolling or responding – just posting. And those posts and captions are pre-planned at least a day in advance, according to my content calendar. Later in the day, when I finished doing what needs to be done, I can then reward myself with scrolling, responding, and laughing to the latest TIKTOK’s.
I realized that my life is not slowing down. Rather, it’s actually more on my plate. The key is prioritizing what goes on during the course of my day. That is how I was able to shave 3 hours off unnecessary time and plug it back into my writing time.
Let me know what you’re doing to plug more productive time into your day!