Start by detoxing from social media.
I detoxed off of social media and Netflix for two weeks and let me tell you, it was a glorious two weeks of my life.
I felt over the moon detaching myself from this handheld square thing that I’ve become attached to. No more mindless scrolling. I spent my days in a remote part of the world connecting to Mother Earth and Mother Nature. I became more mindful of the one of the most important things in our lives, time.
Years ago I read Paul Graham’s article, Marker’s schedule, Manager’s schedule. It shifted my perception of who I am and why I tend to batch my life into hours and sometimes even days instead of small incremental periods. In a past chapter of this life, I was a manager of my time. But as I shifted into the creative creator I am today, understanding my strengths and weaknesses became an art form. I learned that a creator and a manager who oversees their day’s schedule are two completely different animals when it comes to structuring their days.
Depending on their habits and routines, one can ultimately become a beast.
- Are you a night owl or an early bird? When are you most creative? When do you feel the most impactful? In Daniel Pink’s book, When, he breaks down timing into a science instead of an art. I personally believe it’s both. When you can caress and perfect the art of timing with a backing of science, well, you have the creme de la creme.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. If you know that you will eat a whole bag of chips versus ten, then it’ll probably be best not to buy bags or a bag to store at home. Same with scheduling. Stick with a set schedule, either batching your time in increments or a stretch of hours and stick to it.
- You are unique and your schedule is not going to replicate the next person’s. Test and try out different schedules and write them down for two weeks or a month period. Once you have a written record of your awesomeness, look for a pattern. Patterns begin to emerge when something happens three times.
- Learn to maximize, not manage your time. Efficiency is key, productiveness is necessary.
- Learn to identify your time wasters. For me, it was social media and Netflix. I didn’t spend that much time on either platform, but it was enough for me to delete the apps from my phone. In the real world, many people need social media for their businesses, I get it. I, also, need social media for my business. At the same time, I have found a balance of detaching and detoxing myself from it to allow myself to batch two weeks off work at a time. What works for me maybe won’t work for you. That is what makes each one of us the beautiful, unique individuals we are.
I am a ten plus potato chip eater. Okay, I am the person who will eat the entire bag because I love chips. A close friend of mine has the willpower to stop at seven whole chips and also she does not mindlessly scroll on social media. She hops on, does her business thing and hops off. Checks it periodically when there are comments.
We are two totally different animals in this regard and that’s perfectly okay. Until we know what our strengths and weaknesses are, we are not in the position to nurture either of them to balance ourselves out. This article is really about maximizing your time by knowing thyself.
I’ve had clients routinely tell me that they did not have time for their happiness homework, ie; ten minutes of meditation. Or even five minutes. Most of them would usually tell me the same thing, “I’ve been so busy. I don’t have time. Carol, I have kids! Etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah,” is what I hear. They’re all excuses.
If you have time to scroll for ten minutes a day on social media, stop by Target for a toothbrush but then walk out with a cart filled with things you didn’t need, then you have time for ten minutes of self care.
Ten minutes a day compounded into a habit is much, much better than trying for one hour a week. Ritual routine and regular repetition can differentiate you from an animal or becoming a beast.
Haven’t gone to the gym but promise yourself you will tomorrow? Start with ten pushups at home. Compound that into a regular routine when you wake up. Make it a habit. Haven’t meditated and promise yourself that you will sit down tonight when you finish happy hour? Start with deep breathing exercises, ten if you will and compound that into a regular ritual. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Life should be easy. It should be simple. So many of us complicate our lives when it really is simple. Start with one step, one push up, one minute of meditation and build upon that. Maximize your time with just one more minute of doing something that is good for us.
At the same time, it takes one fast food meal, one more mindless minute on social media, one extra excuse to not do an activity which will add to your life. Delete what takes away from your precious time, the one currency we can never make up.
If it costs you your peace, it’s too expensive.
The state of flow requires Carol to recharge in different energy vortexes and ley lines around our world. She can be reached at email@example.com.