I have always thought my ideal morning would go like this. Wake up, say a prayer of gratitude, enjoy breakfast, sit down and sketch or read…. have time for a physical activity of some kind, finish any chores or duties I had. Go to bed feeling accomplished, ready to tackle the next day. This ideal day sounds familiar. I lived this life. Back in 1997.
Today, I wake up and the first thing I look at is my phone. I catch up with whatsapp messages, mentions and messages from social media apps and an hour of blissful waking up has disappeared. An hour that I could have been more productive catching up with a new read, or posting a blog post that needed editing. An hour I could have spend communing with nature on that morning run.
I have been thinking on writing about productivity since the beginning of the year. With the internships, work and other little things that creep up my way, how do I create more time for productive work? I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. It’s my favorite personal assistant at best and at worst, the absolute roadblock to productivity. According to productivity guru’s the five things that will hinder your amazing capable self from being productive are five things. One is your smart phone, two the internet, three gossip, four social media and five the email. All these things could be summarized to your phone.
Christopher, a colleague of mine got me on Moment, an app that let’s you know how much time you spend on your phone in a 24hr span. He recommended it after we had a discussion on how much time we tend to consume on our phones. I mentioned to him that it was something I was fully conscious off, like an addict but I knew I needed to make some changes. I got the app and promised not to check my stats in a week and a half long period. I was dismayed when I discovered how much time I spent on it. There was a day I spent close to 8 hours. 8 freaking hours! Granted I checked the time here and there, replied to a text, checked my feed but still 8 hours is beyond!! I could have created a dress, read a book, gone to the gym, tried a new recipe, started a painting, the list is endless. We have all these gadgets that are supposed to make us work smarter, be better, do better but I think all they do is make us more attached to them. Somewhere in Silicon Valley, someone is working on an algorithm or a new app to get us even more addicted to our phones. For a brief second, I thought of getting a flip phone, like Adele on Hello. That way I could minimise my obsession with my smart phone and focus on the meaningful “Hello’s” Be more present. Enjoy more actual conversations with Human beings and not the ones on my phone screen.
I came up with five simple ways to help me get my priorities in check. It all starts when you wake up. How you handle that moment sets a precedence for the rest of your day.
Have a to do list every morning that does not include my phone. I am a creature of habit. If I do not write it it won't happen. So every night before my head hits the pillow, I jot down things to do the following day. In my note book!
Start a side project. I enjoy painting. I could sketch just about anything that comes to mind, a shoe, my breakfast, the tree outside my room. Art before breakfast sounds like a plan.
Read more. This involves an actual book, not a book in my kindle app. There's always something to learn, ways to discover new things. Or even improve my writing. Reading will do that.
Go for a run. - Endorphins will have me bouncing off the walls. Yup.
Delete all that shit! All social media apps though? Possible, but I have a blog that requires social media engagement. Perhaps I should zero down to two apps. I am still debating on this. Wish me well.
I am pretty much thinking this out as I go. Trying to squeeze in a little 97 essence into 2017. I do not have answers but I would like to do better. Be conscious of how I spend my time. I will give you an update say in two on how these few steps I have taken are helping me out. I do not know if you are struggling with anything at the moment but where there is a will, there is a way. You just have to start and stay focused. Get The Moment app on your phone. Let me know what you think. Also, please let me know how YOU stay productive.
My agenda for tomorrow is lined up. Wish me well .. :)
This post has happened courtesy of my other office, my bed, with the computer on an inverted drawer turned Laptop table. I do a lot of writing on my bed so I wanted to capture them in my natural state, sans pants. Shout out to the Home Science classes I took in high school. Who knew all that prop work would come in handy years later.