And why it's worth it.
The other night, while lying on the couch in front of the tv I happened upon a TEDx talk on youtube. It was by Stephen Duneier on How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals and here’s a spoiler, it most definitely does not involve ‘watching’ tv and scrolling the suggested videos section on youtube.
He uses a few examples as well as his own life and achievements to illustrate the point that great things can be achieved through very small acts. Specifically, he talks about making small changes to his daily routine, like utilising the time he spends walking to walk to listen to language tapes, which add up over time and have led to some pretty impressive feats. He emphasises that raw talent really isn’t necessary, it’s all about your decision making and the power of small consistent acts.
To be honest it was a bit depressing, it made me think about all the things I could be achieving and the things I want to achieve and tell myself I don’t have time for. I’m fairly confident I’d be fluent in 10 languages by now if I added up the hours I’ve devoted to facebook. It’s not that there is anything wrong with having some chill out time checking social media, but what if I chose to reallocate just 20mins of my social media time to something else?
So how can you break the social media habit and in the process create some time to work towards achieving a personal goal?
1.Take your app(s) of choice off your home screen so when you check your phone for the time or a message, you’re not sucked in by that little notification sitting right there screaming check me check me.
2.Keep your hands busy. I have taken up crochet again (lots of failed attempts in the past) but this time I’m working on an actual project, a little cardigan for my daughter. It’s slow going but at least a few times each week I choose to pick that up instead of my phone.
3.Keep your phone out of reach. Put the ring tone on so you don’t miss calls, then leave it in your handbag or far enough a way you can't check it without getting up.
4.Get comfortable doing nothing. Embrace boredom and let your thoughts roam.
5.No phone checking right before bed or first thing in the morning. Use a real alarm clock in the morning to avoid temptation and avoiding screen time at night can also help you fall asleep more easily.
As a life-long procrastinator and day dreamer, making myself follow through on these things even when I know it's what I should be doing has always been my biggest challenge (case in point, this blog post has taken all week!) so you might also like to check out Mel Robbin’s talk How to stop screwing yourself over. It’s not procrastinating, it's an educational and productive use of your time :)