Small changes, big difference: How I added two hours to my day?

2017 was a big year for me. As I transitioned into the new role of being a husband, the demands on my time increased and I quickly realised that I had to prioritise the things that had access to my time and cut out the clutter. I wanted to spend my time creating memories and working at my relationships, skills and character rather than helping corporations earn an extra buck from me. On some introspection, I noticed that I could drastically increase the free time available to me by making small adjustments to my daily habits. Today I share 5 things that I implemented over the last year, which rid me of my conundrum.

Limited Resources, Unlimited Demand

1. Muting Notifications
The smallest step that made the biggest difference to my life was doing away with notifications. That means all phone notifications (yes, even Whatsapp!!!), laptop notifications, smart-watch notifications, the whole gamut! Probably adulting is responsible for this, but I don’t feel the urge to stay connected anymore. Limiting my accessibility to random time embezzlers like those sale promotions or those mantra preachers on office email tremendously helped me reduce the demands on my time and improve my focus on things on hand.

2. Moving to Firefox Focus on Mobile
How does changing browsers help in improving time management? Firefox Focus is a privacy-focused browser from Mozilla designed to block online trackers. Apart from ad-blocking, it also has this amazing feature where every time I exit the browser, all the web history is deleted and there are no open webpages (unlike Chrome). Since I cannot leave my browsing for later, it helped me reduce my overall browsing time and focus on the task at hand whenever I’m skimming the internet.

3. Removing Television from My Day-to-Day
Aah! Another time embezzler. Over the last 12 months, I have made a conscious effort towards eliminating TV from my day-to-day life. Nothing interesting ever runs on TV and I have lost patience to sit through various brands trying to rob my wallet. I do catch up with a few movies sometimes, but that’s a sporadic event.

4. Switching over to Physical Newspaper
Surprising right? Multi-tasking is overrated. Despite the efficiency of a smartphone, it comes with a lot of evils. One of which is the news websites trying to catch my attention to some advert or some promoted content. I feel going old school on news consumption was one of my best decisions. I have full control over what I read with nobody trying to grab my eyeballs, I have no interruptions and can completely focus on reading the newspaper.

5. Moving my Social Networking Presence to Goodreads
Being extremely cynical and selective about online data sharing, I have minimised my involvement with sites like Facebook. I have no presence on other social networking sites (except an infrequent tweet) and have started dedicating my social networking time to Goodreads. Staying updated with what others are reading keeps me motivated to complete my own ‘To-read’ section and I enjoy learning about new books and new stories. (More about what I am reading here.)

Special Mention: Keyboard shortcuts: The next thing that I am planning to take up is learning more keyboard shortcuts. I spend a lot of time on my office laptop and they work like magic – you can turn back the clock!

So there it is.

I am constantly looking out for more ways to balance the ever-increasing things that want access to me. Do you have any more life hacks that I can implement?

This is the Sciolist.

Signing out!!!

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