In this post, Dr Money Mustache also talks about how to avoid wasting time. And it’s not just news, it’s ‘all forms of irrelevant information’.
The philosopher Seneca said in On the Shortness of Life, ‘There is no time for anything inessential,’ but does this mean you can’t even watch 6 episodes of Friends back-to-back, or watch highlights of pretty boring regular season NBA games for 20 minutes? Maybe. But I don’t that’s so bad.
There’s a difference through scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook aimlessly or flicking channels on TV to just hopefully find something to watch, and doing something you love to do. It’s that realisation that you know you are wasting time. Time is the most valuable thing there is, by far. It’s the only thing you can not get back. The only thing.
I still waste time by not contacting people I want to interview for this site, probably sleep too much, watch countless NHL highlights or the odd sitcom. I’ve seen The Office, all 9 seasons and every episode, all the way through, about 5 times, but I keep watching it.
But there’s a difference though between doing something you love and doing something aimlessly.
These are the some of things I do to not waste time:
- I don’t use Facebook, Instagram or any other social media. Though I do have a twitter account that I spend about 2 minutes total on a week.
- No turning on the TV unless for a specific reason.
- Deleted all the bookmarks on my browser to tens of sports sites that I use to browse just because it was so easy (for example, I would look up Colorado Avalanche hockey news from 5 different sites, and yep, they all said the exact same thing).
- Check email once a day
- Delete all apps from phone that suck time (and make it difficult to find ones that do)
- Don’t bring the phone to any place where it’s not necessary
There are other things that I’ve heard recommended. For example:
- If you use your smartphone too much, there’s a setting on the new iPhone where you can change the screen to be entirely black and white, so as to make it less interesting to use.
- Freedom is an internet restriction app which lets you set how time of ‘Freedom’ you want and during that time it won’t let you go online. Neil Strauss uses this site to avoid distractions while he writes. Anything you need to look up, you just make a note, instead of looking up immediately and getting lost down the internets rabbithole.
- Dr Money Mustache recommends not only closing the bookmark for your email, but also deleting it, and then logging out. So that logging in becomes a ‘deliberate affair’.