Getting Your Time Back – Productivity

Do you feel like you have enough time in a day?

Are 24 hours in a day enough? Or do you have the opposite problem and time is moving way too slow? Certainly, if you go to school, go to work, provide childcare, or some combination – it may feel like we do not have enough time in the day to do what we want, at least productively.

We should have plenty of time

– with modern-day conveniences, technology, and instant-everything. Cars, drive-thru’s (even drive through ATMs), online everything (banking, shopping, bill paying), food delivered to our door from Apps, even Telehealth making waiting at doctor’s office less of a time-consuming thing.

Shouldn’t we have gained some time back?

Instead, we likely filled that time with something else we prioritize as more important. Working more, sleeping in more, watching more Netflix, playing more video games, going on our phones more (social media, games, etc.).

There is nothing wrong with watching more, tweeting more, posting more, etc. but many of these services or products are made to be addictive. The more time you spend doing these things, the more money they make! The longer you spend on YouTube, the higher the ad revenue. The longer you are on Instagram, the more you may get influenced by some accounts and be willing to purchase affiliate products or view more ads. The longer you are Binge-watching Netflix, the more data they gather on your viewing habits to keep producing content that you are more interested by and continue subscribing to. Online shopping like Amazon – is built around you coming back to their services, their Prime, their recommendations because they already know what you want and are willing to spend money on.

Take even a more established convenience as cars. We have replaced our time of working nearby (such as walking, biking, or a short-drive away) to commuting, being stuck in traffic, and having to spend our precious time going both to and from work! So pro-tip, try to find a job that is closer, even if it pays a little less – maybe it is worth your time and sanity.

How much time do you spend on Netflix or Hulu or YouTube?

In a way, you have not only lost more time but maybe spending more money as well.

Don’t Get Me Wrong

There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, being entertained, indulging, enjoying life, etc. But if your priority and goal is to be more productive, have more time to do things you always wanted, or to save money, realizing how you replaced your time with modern conveniences, services, or products can be very powerful in freeing you from them.

Reflect

How do you spend your day? What portion of your day is spent on some of the things mentioned above? Of course, it’s not all black and white. Someone who is on social media with the intention of building a following for their own influence or business is more “productive” than someone who is on it for entertainment or to “kill time”.

How We Can Get it Back

Your time is valuable. There is the extreme method – could go cold turkey and cut the cord. Cancel that Netflix. Cancel that Prime. Uninstall social media. Meal prep. Unsubscribe from things in your life that are distractions. Or you could reduce the time you spend doing these things. One way is to set restrictive times on specific activities with features like Screentime or set an alarm, “I will watch Netflix for X amount of time”. Socially, I think there is nothing wrong with these activities, but it can be very easy – especially alone to do things like binge-watch shows all day. Maybe you can set your own rules. One YouTuber made it a rule to never watch TV alone, unless he is doing it socially.

My Experience

I stopped playing video-games entirely. I don’t watch Netflix unless it’s with someone else. I don’t have cable TV. I only go on social media for business-related purposes. Just from these habits alone, I have gained so much time to do more productive things. I do watch YouTube videos – that teach me a skill or inspire me. This time I have replaced with working on my blogging, videos, podcast, or other side-projects. Guess what? I don’t miss the old things at all. I am much happier because what I create is meaningful, helpful to society, and fulfilling.

What will you do with all your free-time gained?

Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, culture, sociology, philosophy, and more.