The Guaranteed Way to Find More Time in Your Life
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.
I’m busy. I remember the days when I had one little baby at home and my grandma would complain when I wouldn’t call her very often, and when I would coyly apologize and tell her I was busy, she would tell me, “honey, you don’t even know what busy is.”
I used to get kind of offended when she’d say that because hello, Gram! I have a freaking baby! But now I look back and laugh because she was absolutely right. I had a baby that slept 12 hours a day, loved to play by himself, it was back before cell phones were affordable for us, Facebook was not even a concept yet and I didn’t work. I spent most of my days lounging by the pool with the baby, reading and cooking meals for my husband. I wasn’t busy; sure, I filled my time – but I wasn’t busy.
These days, my life is scheduled – thoroughly color-coded and regimented. I know, for the most part, exactly who needs to be where at what time, for how long, who with and why. My life revolves around the iCal app, and without it I would be utterly lost.
It’s sad, but it’s absolutely true.
And of course, there’s the added social pressure of Keeping Up With The
Kardashians Joneses and there’s this need to be at everyone’s instant beck and call on social media or on our smart phones.
It’s a little secret I have been keeping from you, and now I’m ready to spill the tea!
How many times have you been out with a friend, and her phone keeps buzzing every 36 seconds with a text or a notification? How many times have your kids all been sitting around the table, devices in hand, talking to each other on their iPods and tablets instead of – you know – out loud to each other. How many times have you been laying in bed at night, mindlessly scrolling instead of talking or snuggling with your partner?
Come on, admit it. You’ve witnessed all these things and I’d be willing to be dollars to pesos that you, yourself, are guilty of being that person, too.
I sure as Hell know that I have absolutely been guilty of being technologically distracted and dependent. Randy gets so mad at me when we’re on road trips because I’ve lost the ability to not be mindlessly scrolling or checking my emails while we’re driving. I can’t just look out the window and enjoy it anymore, not without feeling some itch I can’t quite scratch to be on my phone, to get rid of the little red bubbles of irritating numbers.
So, here’s a little secret I’ve learned that is a Guaranteed Way to Find More Time in Your Life.
That’s right, I’m guaranteeing this or your money back.
You ready for this?
It’s super easy.
You see, if you’re like me, you have a lot of apps, maybe you get about 100 emails a day, a lot of people constantly trying to talk to you, or people you’re trying to keep up with or whatever the case may be. You’ve gotten busy in a sense that I don’t think my grandma could fathom in all her wisdom.
Yelp’s New Hot Spot Recommendations.
New YouTube videos.
So-and-so is LIVE now.
New Tik Tok from so-and-so.
New Snap from so-and-so.
Latest trending tweets.
Sale on crap you don’t need.
New email again.
I think you get the picture. Even just looking at all those types of notifications I checked Katelyn’s iPod the other day, and she had over 100 notifications in a single day. At 13 years old, no job and not a full social calendar – and she’s getting that many notifications. Ridiculous, right?
It’s not only ridiculous, but it’s super distracting. Is it absolutely necessary that every time you get an email, it alerts you? Is the sale from Old Navy really that dire? Do you really need to know that Taylor Swift just shared a new picture on Instagram right this minute? Or that there’s a hot new sushi bar in a town you visited 6 months ago that Yelp needs to remind you about?
Don’t tell me you don’t have time. Don’t tell me you’re too busy. Don’t tell me you can’t fit it into your schedule.
The truth is, you’re too distracted. So am I – we all are! Those things I just said? They’re absolutely what I tell myself every single day.
But by turning off my notifications for things I truly don’t need to get notified every moment of every day, and setting up a proper time to respond to emails and social media, I have some concept of work-life balance. I can put my phone on the charger and watch Handmaid’s Tale with Randy uninterrupted, I can go grocery shopping without stopping to see that new photo that Taylor Swift just posted, I can do fun things with my kids, I can go my entire day without being notified, distracted and therefore sucked into some sort of time suck.
Imagine if you had that sort of freedom.
Sis, you can!
I dare you take a few minutes to go through your phone and turn off the notifications for things that are distracting. I think you’ll be surprised at how much of your life you’ll get back!
Follow me @xoashdurham