Do More With Less Screen Time Challenge - Day Two

Transient

It’s been one full day since we kicked off our Do More With Less Screen Time Challenge.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s all about take a little more time to get things done and shut out the digital distractions.  The list we started with features the following:

  • No screens 2 hours before bed.
  • No phone first thing in the AM.
  • No news or radio first thing, either.
  • Don't Read Unsolicited Email.
  • Use Privacy Mode to Limit Callers.
  • Set Timer For Reading Blogs (20 Min)
  • Don't Answer The Phone, Let it Go To Voicemail.
  • Only Read the Important Email.
  • Practice the Right to Decline.
  • Eat Breakfast.
  • Unsubscribe from Shopping E-mails.
  • Turn Off Unnecessary Notifications.
  • No Snooze Button.
  • No Coffee after 2 p.m.
  • Take Short 10 Minute Breaks and Walk around.

I was so excited when some of you tweeted and e-mailed me a few more options to add to the list.  A lot of which, I’m guilty of.  Those additions will be added to next weeks challenge.  Feel free to let me know in the comments below, or on twitter about any things you think we should be working on. 

Today, I wanted to give you a few hints and tips to tackle your Do More With Less Screen Time Challenge.  All of these tips are for right before bed, and your morning routine.  Tomorrow we will focus on what you can do right when you arrive at work.  

No screens 2 hours before bed & No phone first thing in the AM - The easiest way to do this, is move your phone off your nightstand.  If you are like me, your phone is right by your bed charging the night away.  Instead of keeping our devices in arms reach try moving it to you desk or having it charge downstairs by the coffee maker.  This will keep you from grabbing right away in the morning and from picking it up in the middle of night.  

{via:http://www.sxc.hu/}

{via:http://www.sxc.hu/}

No Snooze Button - This one isn’t hard for me.  Once my alarm goes off, I’m awake.  Most of the time I awake before the alarm gets going.  For those of you who struggle with getting out of bed in morning, set your alarm and move it as far away from you bed as possible. Anything so you can’t roll over and hit snooze.  If you have to get out of bed to turn off your alarm chances are you will stay out of bed.  Another great way to avoid crawling back into bed and becoming a slave to the snooze button is making your bed. 

No news or radio first thing in the AM & Eat Breakfast - By charging my phone and iPad downstairs in the kitchen, it made me go downstairs first thing in the am.  But instead of picking up my devices I made a proper breakfast.  By proper breakfast I mean more than just a granola bar.  I went all out and had meal, featuring carbs, protein and plenty of caffeine.  Once breakfast was served I sat, ate, and read a book.  

Morning Playlist - I did turn on my morning playlist once breakfast was over.  For those of you who don’t know about the powers of a good morning playlist let me tell you.  A morning mix will keep you on track and aware of the time.  My playlist is perfect, I have a song the lets me know I have 10 minutes to get out of the door.  One that lets me know I’m going to be a few minutes late, and last but not least the song that tells me I’m late.  For those of you looking to make your own morning mix.  Look for songs that are about the same length of time.  It makes it really easy to know where you are even if you can’t see a clock. Don’t duplicate songs or artists.  If the playlist has too many things that sound the same, you might start to drown it out.

Before Walking Out The Door - I did made a point to quickly scan my e-mail.  Only to see if there was anything important I needed to know or to see if I had to remember to bring anything.  

For a few more tips on having an orderly morning and getting out of the door on time with less screens.  Check out the 10 Step Program to Stop Running Late!

Series:

10 Step Program to Stop Running Late
Do More With Less Screen Time - Morning Routine
Do More WIth Less Screen Time

Take The Challenge and Get More Done With Less Screen Time

Transient

Thursday nights episode of Parks & Recreation got me thinking, about how much time I spend staring at screens.  For those of you not watching the fine folks of Pawnee, Indiana last Thursday you missed Tom getting into a accident and finding himself in the hot seat, since he was tweeting while driving.  The judge sentenced him to 72 hours with no screens.  Let the punishment fit the crime.  All weekend I was thinking about how much time I spend looking at screens.  Screens are everywhere now, your phone, car, even your kitchen appliances have gotten in on the act. 

So today I enlisted my best friend to help me gather up all the screens we have in the house.  Turns out we have a disgusting amount of screens. If you don’t believe me, check out the picture to the left.  The sad thing is, you can’t even see the desktop computers, Tv’s and PSP that we couldn’t find.  Not to mention the cars, and appliances. Grand total there are about 28 screens.Gross, right?  28 screens two people.  How do you end up with this many iPhones?  Well it’s simple, you set out to keep your old iPhone and use it as an iPod Touch and before you know it, they are stacking up like cord wood.

Lately I’ve been pretty distracted and overwhelmed.  This combination has lead to me not getting nearly as much done each day as I used to.  While I don’t think screens are fully to blame, they are part of the problem.  So, this past weekend I took a little break from screens.  I must admit, I did watch a horror movie on Friday night  (come on it’s Halloween, I have to).  But I managed to keep my phone, tablet, and computers at bay.  I did look at them once in the morning and again in the evening, but only for a few minutes.  That break was just the thing I needed.  The house was quieter without the annoying buzz of vibrating phones and clicking on keyboards.  I managed to rest, read a few books and knock out a massive to do list.  By Sunday night I was so relaxed that once when my head hit the pillow I went right to sleep. That never happens to me.  I takes me a while to fully relax enough to go to sleep. 

While this was great for a weekend, I know this isn’t something I can really do during the week.  Like most people I work on a computer, I need to take calls on my phone, return e-mails and stay on top of things.  So, instead of letting the screens take over, I’m going to try and find a balance.  

This afternoon when I was back in my bad habit of clicking down the rabbit hole I stumbled across a few articles on  Lifehacker “Try This “Recipe” to Increase Productivity Over the Next Week”, and “How Being Unreachable Makes Me More Productive”.  They got me thinking about how once the screens weren’t a dominate force in my day, I took time to other stuff that every adult should be doing, like eating a good breakfast. I’m not going to lie, I skip breakfast all the time.  

Both articles came a with pretty long lists of things to do.  So I've decided to challenge myself to do at least 10, some of these can be found in the articles I mention and a few are problem areas I know I have.   So starting tomorrow I’m going to be doing the following:

  • No screens 2 hours before bed.
  • No phone first thing in the AM.
  • No news or radio first thing, either.
  • Don't Read Unsolicited Email.
  • Use Privacy Mode to Limit Callers.
  • Set Timer For Reading Blogs (20 Min)
  • Don't Answer The Phone, Let it Go To Voicemail.
  • Only Read the Important Email.
  • Practice the Right to Decline.
  • Eat Breakfast.
  • Unsubscribe from Shopping E-mails.
  • Turn Off Unnecessary Notifications.
  • No Snooze Button.
  • No Coffee after 2 p.m.
  • Take Short 10 Minute Breaks and Walk around.

I’m starting off trying 10 items on the list above, if you don’t think you can do 10 try 5, or even just 1.  Maybe none of the items on the list are issues for you, if so come up with your own list and start the challenge.  Throughout the next week I will post about how I’m surviving the challenge and tips and hints to help get you through.  I’m pretty sure the No screens after 9pm is going to be a tough one for me, but it’s the one I want to do the most.  Good Luck! 

Series:

10 Step Program to Stop Running Late
Do More With Less Screen Time - Morning Routine
Do More WIth Less Screen Time

Sources:

How Being Unreachable Makes Me More Productive | Life Hacker

Try This “Recipe” to Increase Productivity Over the Next Week | Life Hacker

How Being Unreachable Makes Me

More Productive | Time Management Ninja

How to Get More Done—The Works | Chris Brogan