One of the most insidious problems facing society today is how much time we spend in front of the screen. When we talk about screen time, we are not referring to you doing work in front of your laptop. No… that’s good screen time.
Bad screen time is the time we spend scrolling through social media or watching the news (which is usually negative) and binge-watching shows on TV. This type of screen time saps our energy and sucks up our time.
More people than ever before are depressed and unfulfilled. A lot of the blame lies on social media. People use their mobile devices intemperately and seem lost when their digital devices are not with them. That’s how bad the addiction is.
- How screen time reduces your desire to work
If you wish to be successful, you MUST reduce your screen time. Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, has often stated that “embracing boredom and learning to do hard things” is crucial to doing good work.
What does that mean?
It means that if you are constantly hooked on your mobile phone and getting hits of dopamine from social media notifications, games, etc. your mind will crave constant entertainment.
Once it gets used to this level of stimulation, it becomes very difficult to make yourself sit down to do important work – which is usually neither entertaining nor that stimulating.
Yet, it is this dull work which will take your business and life to the next level.
- What can you do when you reduce your screen time?
Let us assume you decide to not watch TV from Mondays to Thursdays. Up until now, you have been spending 2-3 hours a day on Netflix. Once you cut this habit out, you have a few extra hours for 4 days a week.
Imagine what you could do with the time!
- Limit yourself to about 15-20 minutes of social media a day
Ideally, it is best to not use social media for more than 10 minutes a day. You do not want to get addicted to these platforms. But 15-20 minutes a day is fine.
Only get on social media at the end of the day. NEVER EVER start your day by checking your social media notifications the moment you wake up.
You are most impressionable early in the day. You do not want to be riled up by people ranting about politics and vaccines.
You have more important work ahead of you.
- So what can you do with the extra time?
Very often, entrepreneurs complain about a lack of work-life balance. Yet, if they went through their daily routine with a fine-toothed comb, they would realize that screen time is subtly stealing precious minutes and hours from their days.
This time can be used more productively. You can organize your business and your day. You could create systems and templates to speed up your workflows.
You could learn new skills that help you with your business. Or you could pick up a new hobby that brings you joy.
Let’s not forget everyone’s favourite excuse when it comes to getting exercise… “I do not have the tiiiime!”
Well, now you do. In fact, a 30-minute workout is only 2% of your day. So, you can get it over and done with ASAP.
All the other tasks like paying bills, managing your finances, clearing your emails, etc. can all be done with the extra time that you have.
- What you will gain
Besides just the time savings, you will also save energy. It takes energy to be on social media… energy to watch TV and so on.
When you spend less time on these activities, your mental and emotional energy will be conserved and not dissipated on polarizing yet trivial matters. You will feel better, think better and act better.
To be successful, you must be a good steward of you time and energy. One of the best things you could do is to manage your screen time stringently and efficiently.
Take a look at how much time you are spending in front of the screen and ask yourself… “Is this necessary?”
Make your decision from there.