Want to be more productive?
Get more accomplished in your day?
Simply not want to feel so far behind for once?
Get off the damn phone!
Was that too harsh for you?
Well, this concept is something I feel so strongly about that sometimes, I shoot off at the mouth (or shall I say fingertips).
But seriously, do you truly know how much time you spend looking at your device, checking emails to see what the latest sale is at Loft, spying on what your fav business guru is up, pondering whether to finally buy that ring light to make better videos because is that what Seth uses?
I get it.
We live in a culture where people, businesses, brands are constantly yanking for our attention.
Next to time, attention is one element we don’t have infinite reserves of.
If you can’t answer my question about how much time you spend glued to your device, try this experiment.
1. For the next seven days – yep, one entire week – track exactly what you do every single minute of the day.
2. Log it in a notebook or with the Toggl app or your Google calendar. It doesn’t matter where you track your time, just that you are recording it some place.
So that means that if you spend 3 minutes scrolling Instagram while waiting for your daughter to finish her cereal, you log it!
If you take 18 minutes to get your face on before a Zoom interview, you write it down.
Set a reminder or alert to go off at specific intervals during your waking time, whether every 15 minutes or once an hour, and jot down exactly what you’ve been doing since the last log entry.
3. After the seven days are complete, go back over your time and notice exactly where your time and attention are going.
What you notice is going to be eye-opening and likely not in a “woohoo, I just found out I balanced my checkbook wrong and there’s actually $2500 more in my account than I thought” way.
Look at the information objectively, like, “Oh how interesting, I spent two hours in total on Facebook on Tuesday and I can’t even remember what I was looking at.”
Instead of, “What the fork was I doing for two dang hours on Facebook on Tuesday? What a time-waster I was. I knew it, I just don’t have what it takes. I’m not self-disciplined enough.”
Whoa, let’s pump the brakes. This isn’t the place to beat yourself up.
We’re aiming for awareness, not self-flagellation here.
4. Take your data and plan specifically what you’ll do differently so that you aren’t ball-and-chain attached to your device 24/7.
Will you have a complete break with technology for an entire day each week, essentially being “on” only 24/6?
Or maybe you leave your phone in the kitchen overnight and not on your nightstand.
Or establish a wind down routine at the end of your day where you take a quiet bath and read for pleasure (I know, just imagine it!).
Or continue to track your time because you know that you respond best to hard numbers when making any life changes.
Or decide on one tech habit to change to start and really dive into the cue that triggers the action. Like, “When I’m bored and don’t know what to do next, that’s when I pull out my phone,” or “Ohhhh, I notice that when I’m uncomfortable about the next action I’m about to take, I stall myself from the discomfort through scrolling the ‘gram.”
You get my drift?
You can’t start to have more time in your day to build towards your BIG business goals without first knowing where and when you’re participating in distracting, unsupportive behaviors.
Happy logging and data collecting.
How does it feel to run this experiment? What thoughts come up?
Share below what springs to your mind – I can’t wait to hear from you.
Photo by Dries De Schepper on Unsplash