Time is on our side

But is it, really? It is said that time is the only thing in our lives that, once it has passed, we can never get back. And it does pass, minute by minute, second by second.

Tik Tok Tik Tok

The busier we are, the faster it goes, and age puts it in yet another gear.

Stop the time!‘ or, ‘Let’s go back in time!‘, are 2 things we wish for, but we just can’t make that happen.

There is one thing we can do though, and that is treat time with more care, spend it on things that give you pleasure and don’t be idle. But how do we do that? We are so busy as it is, with work, family, friends… Are we even ever ‘idle’? I don’t think so!

But there are ways. We may not realise, but there is already one object that is consuming way too much of our time. We know it, and at the same time we don’t.

Our phones.

Our phones have become an extension of our arms. We can’t leave the house without it, feel lost when the battery runs dead, panic when it breaks down. Much more than a device to call people, it is our GPS, our iPod, our camera, our sports and weight tracker, and so much more, so we definitely don’t want to ditch it completely!

We are so addicted, that whenever we have a second time, – and even when we don’t- we grab our phone just to check if something has come in that is worth reading, or to just scroll on social media. When in the elevator, stuck in traffic, when at the doctors, when waiting for your egg to boil… The moments are endless : we spend every free second on it and feel like we have no time at all.

Check text messages : nothing new
then switch to…
Facebook, scroll scroll : seen it all
then switch to…
the news : nothing new since 2 seconds ago
back to …
text messages, still no new message
maybe there is something new on Facebook?
Open Instagram, like like like. Back to Facebook…

(common knowledge)

Do you recognise this?

If you don’t, then you can count yourself to the (few) lucky ones! But if you do, all is not lost.

The smartphone is a relatively new device, but the last decade has totally changed because of it; our lives have totally changed because or it. It comes as no surprise that research on the consequences of this new device is all relatively new too. One thing researchers have found out is that whenever we grab our phone, our level of dopamine rises (dopamine is the substance in your brain that gives you a good feeling). Just the mere fact of picking up your phone and wondering if you have received something interesting is enough for that. The same happens when you check your social media over and over again. Only to realise that most of the time, nothing new has happened, and the dopamine goes down again. It feels like an addiction, it actually is an addiction : we are addicted to the dopamine, we need it! Once we’ve tasted it we want more ; it’s the exact same as being addicted to drugs.

Our phone is our drug.

Now we know that, how do we tackle it?
Here are some tips :

  1. Check your screen time on your phone

Be curious : how much time do you spend on your phone? In case you have never done that : be prepared of the shock! But don’t just check it : analyse it. What are the apps you spend your time on? Is it e-mail (work related), GPS, kindle… or is it social media and other apps that aren’t of much actual use and just a waste of time?

2. Turn off alerts

Then you decide when you check your mails and other, instead of letting your phone do that for you.

3. Delete social media apps and games

Or if that is too drastic for you, move those apps to another page, or hide them in group icons. Save your first page for apps that are of real use for you, and create the habit to not swipe to the next pages unless you decide to do so, not out or reflex and/or dopamine surge. You can always decide to check your social media on your computer, play games with your family and friends etc.

3. Put a time limit on your social media and other distracting apps

Time flies when you are scrolling! 15 minutes pass like they are 15 seconds. You can always overrule a time slot, but at least you realise you have been scrolling into other peoples lives for 15 minutes!

4. Put a rubber band or a post-it on your phone

So each time you reach for it you are triggered to ask yourself ‘do I need to watch now?’. Very often, you do not!

5. Put your phone out of reach at certain times a day.

Did you know that you can customise the ‘don’t disturb mode’ and add different ones for different situations? You can turn it on for just about anything but let your boss’ calls and kids’ text come in anyway (or not at all :)). The possibilities are endless!

6. Make a list of the things you wish you had time for

Reading or listening to a book, listening to a podcast, call a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, sit outside and watch the sunset,…

But Rome wasn’t build in one day, and we certainly won’t get hold of our time in a flash, but if we want, we can work on it, a day at a time.

If you like this idea and want to get completer control over your phone, I recommend reading How to brake up with my phone in 30 days by Catherine Price Price, or stay posted!

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

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4 responses to “Time is on our side”

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