Behind every intention to live a slower, simpler life is a desperate cry for more time. It’s why we crave that slowness and simplicity in the first place. We somehow manage to use up all the available minutes of every day and never have enough time left for the things we truly value. Our days are filled to the brim with activity, and while we’re glad to be busy and productive and engaged, we also feel our lives would be better if we had more time.
As a society we have more opportunity than any generation that’s come before. Most of us are safe, housed, well fed, educated, connected, productive members of society. We’re a privileged bunch, earning enough money to live comfortably and provide a future for ourselves and our families. The opportunities available to us are limitless, but for some reason we’ve lost the ability to prioritise time for the things we value. Perhaps its inherent in our genes. Nothing in our ancestry to date has prepared us for the possibility that we’d have to organise our time beyond the basic needs of survival, shelter & procreation. Perhaps we’re simply not genetically programmed to prioritise downtime.
For the sake of sanity and peace and survival on a global scale, I think it’s a challenge we all need to rise to. Overworked, exhausted, stressed and anxious people are not good for the planet and we’re not good for each other. We need to find time and we need to choose more wisely how to spend it. I personally think Leunig nailed it when he penned the wise words “It is worth doing nothing and having a rest”, but even if that’s not your philosophy, we can surely agree it’s worth doing whatever is important to YOU.
Last week’s One Small Change was to spend an hour doing something you love; to try and slip into that flow where time stands still and joy emerges. For many though, the toughest part of that challenge was simply finding a free hour. Earlier this week I stumbled across a brilliant way for us all to find more hours in our life. Blogger Sarahdipity shared her experiences with an app called Moment. Moment is an app that automatically tracks how much time you spend on your iPhone and iPad each day. Scared? I was. Without even using the app, I knew I’d find hours of ‘wasted’ time I didn’t realise I had. Is this you too?
Hands up if you’re one of those people that spends way too much time on their phone; checking emails, scrolling through social media, posting pics online? Yep, me too. When your four year old son tells you to “put down your phone mummy and look at me” you know there’s a problem – Sarah from sarahdipity.com.au
Sarah’s post Habit, Addiction and the Challenge is well worth a read if you need more convincing. For me, it’s fascinating to consider how many hours a week we devote to a device we probably didn’t own 5 years ago. Admittedly this little wonder brick serves so many practical purposes and saves us hours and minutes every day just by making daily tasks quicker and easier to complete. But how much of our mobile time is spent on activities that are perhaps not terribly valuable? Let’s find out huh? I’ve downloaded the app today in readiness for this week’s One Small Change, which is of course to track your mobile phone usage!
Your One Small Change This Week
If you use an iPhone, head on over and download the Moment App. If you have another kind of phone there’s an app called QualityTime which works on Android devices, and probably others if you search around a bit. Turn on tracking and prepare to be astonished. I guarantee it will be an eye opener. Once you have the data, the next step is up to you. Are you happy with the amount of time you spend on your phone? If you decided to change your phone habits, how much time could you divert to activities that offer more value to your life. Have a think about what your time is worth and whether this kind of change could work for you. Good Luck, and remember to report back.