The Unexpected Place I Was Wasting Hours Every Day

Time Management is one area where I feel pretty confident. I’ve read just about every time management book that exists, created my own time management resource, live by an ideal schedule, and faithfully use my iBloom Planner. However, there is one unexpected place where I was wasting HOURS every day…my phone. I knew that I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, getting trapped in depressing news articles, and constantly refreshing my email, but I had no idea just how much time I was wasting.

Last year, I heard Rachel Macy Stafford of Hands Free Mama speak at a conference. I sobbed through most of her talk because I realized just how distracted I had become. My addiction to my phone was causing me to miss important moments that I would never get back. This was a huge wake up call for me. I immediately bought both of her books, Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life. I’ve devoured both of them MANY times. I slowly started making little changes like:

  • Silencing my phone and leaving it on the kitchen counter during our family time.
  • Leaving my phone in my purse when I’m in the car, so I can engage in intentional conversation with my family.
  • Silencing all of the notifications {email, text messages, social media posts, etc.}, so I’m not distracted by all of the dings and vibrations.

However, I knew that I was still using my phone way too much and it was distracting me from the more important things. I recently downloaded an app that tracks my phone activity. Eeek! It has been incredibly eye opening and a little scary.

Time Tracking Apps:

I know that it’s sooo scary to think about how much time we’re wasting. However, knowledge is power. Once you’re aware of the problem, then you can take steps toward fixing it. I challenge you to download one of the apps below and evaluate your usage after a week.

For Android users: Quality Time App

For iPhone users: Moment App

On the first day of tracking, I was shocked to discover that I unlocked my phone 80 times and was on social media or email for almost 3 hours. Oh my! How is that even possible?! God has entrusted us with 1440 minutes each day and that day I spent 175 minutes on my phone. Eliminating the 8 hours that I was asleep, that means I spent 26% of my awake time on my phone. That is sooo ridiculous, especially considering that I’m also using these tools from my computer!

Of course there are so many benefits to social media and email. I LOVE being able to connect and pray for people all over the world, but I don’t want those tools to consume my life. I don’t want to be so distracted that I’m missing out on the things and people that are most important.

Thankfully, I’m now aware of this enormous problem and am making more changes. Here are a few of the things I’m testing:

  • Logging out of all social media accounts, so that it’s much more difficult to access them. Plus, this gives me a quick signal if I’m just mindlessly searching. If this doesn’t work, then I’m going to remove the temptation and delete the social media accounts from my phone.
  • I’m setting up designated social media times. I do this when I’m on my computer, but it’s essential for my phone time, too.
  • I’m removing the email app from my phone, so I have to log-in to view my emails.
  • I’m not checking my phone {or logging into my computer} until after I’ve had my Business Meeting with God.
  • I’m carrying a book, notepad, and my iBloom Planner with me everywhere. Instead of using wait time to mindlessly check my phone, I will now use it to read, brainstorm, or plan.

I’m going to continue tracking my usage over the next week and see if additional tweaks are needed. This is an area that I’m determined to tackle. I want to honor God with all the time He’s entrusted to me.

Discussion Question: I’d love to learn from you! Click here to share some of the ways you manage your phone time.

Kelly Thorne Gore

http://ibloom.co

Comments

  1. Thanks for this. I consider myself efficient with time, but lately all my breaks have been spent with my phone. I’m going to give some thought to what needs to change.

  2. Wow … I’ll bet I right with you there. Thanks for opening my eyes.

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