Does Facebook Sell Free Time? Or Can I Have Mine Back At No Charge?
Very recently, I had a realization about how I utilize time and was disgusted enough to write this blog post, which is not necessarily about photography, but related; it does affect my Journey in Photography anyway.
People regularly ask me questions like, “how do you do everything that you do and when do you find the time?” or “I know you must be so busy because you are involved in doing so many things”.
When I hear these things I laugh inside. Why? Well, believe it or not, while people think that I use every second of every day like the U.S. President would, with his team of scheduling professionals, being busy accomplishing greatness with every second, I actually believe that I waste a great deal of time daily, which to me means that I ain’t as busy as they think. I hope the psychology of this isn’t equivalent to a six feet tall 90 pound adult male claiming to be fat! Maybe my psychologist wife will put me on the couch for a session and we’ll figure it out together.
You see, I like to remain busy; busy at my 9 to 5, at the non-profit organizations I volunteer with, at my photography business, with online studies, with playing music, with theatrical dancing, with sports, with being an avid father and family man, and so on and so on. As part of keeping busy, I walk briskly, I commute with a purpose, I engage in extracurricular activities, many in the hopes of helping the less fortunate and giving back to my society. Basically, I’m the energizer bunny with a shinny bald head. However, some activities that keep me busy are not overly important, some actually being meaningless. This then points out the fact that I actually have spare time, but use it unwisely.
So I compared the amount of time I spend with aimless activities, to the time I spend with activities that really make me happy and work towards me reaching my goals in life. I found that I waste more time than I even realized, in the sense that many of my daily habits and routines do not contribute meaningfully to my growth as a person, father, husband or businessman. I was being busy, but I was being busy in many instances, for example, playing games on my smartphone, getting caught up with watching “Top 10” videos on YouTube, spending ridiculous amounts of time on social media, chat messaging and email, and even simple things like obsessively clearing notifications on my smartphone. Time suckers!
Well, time for a revamp! After realizing change was necessary, I set out on a plan. A plan not to reduce the amount of time that I used keeping busy, but simply to replace these aimless activities with more meaningful ones, including spending more time with my family. That way, I would remain as busy as I always am (which I do like), but will progress more in life using the same amount of time as used before.
So, let’s start small. I deleted the Facebook app from my smartphone and I only visit Facebook twice a day, at most, from my desktop computer (reduced from upwards of 20 or more times a day because of Facebook notifications on the smartphone app). I turned off all banner notifications on my smartphone, except for business and VIP messaging and calls. This allows me to maintain focus on work, play, family time and other tasks, without the distraction of obsessively pulling out my phone every minute to respond to notifications, or constantly trying to clear the red bubble notifications, which seems to be a Monkish attribute of mine. I have also unsubscribed from the email newsletters that I don’t read regularly (although I want to) and I have scheduled myself to read emails twice a day.
Well this is the first phase on my journey to remap and reroute my efforts and time. I must say, though, that it has been amazing thus far, the amount of focus and time I have gained back just from making those small changes above, Facebook being a big one. I’m sure you can agree with how easy it is to get caught up watching funny videos on those websites, only to realize that two hours have gone by.
Phase two will be to work on separating my activities and scheduling them more aggressively so that I only focus on one at a time. I’m an avid multi-tasking professional, but more and more I am becoming a firm believer that some things should not be multi-tasked. Single focus can most often produce greater results.
If you have made similar adjustments in your life for better productivity and time usage, do share some of your ideas and I will share more of mine in my next blog about time wasting.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to visit my new YouTube Channel here: https://youtube.com/DamePetersPhotography and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe 🙂
Dame Peters Photography
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