Can You Simplify Your Life with Tech?

Original article was published by ETEKLY Staff on Artificial Intelligence on Medium


Can You Simplify Your Life with Tech?

Habit hacking in an over connected world.

Photo by Thomas Kolnowski on Unsplash

We live in a time where each of us struggles to keep our heads above water with the flood of entertainment options at our fingertips. From Netflix to video games to a myriad of other options, the sheer number of things to spend your time on far surpasses the time a single person has available. Perhaps the biggest distraction is one that no other generation has had to contend with: social media.

In 2019 the average amount of time spent on social media sites was around 144 minutes per day, nearly two and a half hours of their day without even factoring in traditional media such as television and online streaming services. Netflix has stated that its average viewing time for users 35 to 49 is three hours and 41 minutes per day. With sleeping, working (and/or school), eating, driving, and other required activities taking up at least 16 to 17 hours of the day, throwing in nearly 7 hours of streaming and social media means you have no time left to dedicate toward achieving your goals.

Many of us don’t even realize how much time we are wasting being distracted.

In our era of mobility and multitasking, mobile phones have exacerbated the problem of narrowing attention spans even further. We use our phones in bed, at work, and even in the restroom (don’t pretend you haven’t done it).

According to data collected by RescueTime, an app for Android and iOS used to monitor phone use, people tend to spend over three hours on their phones per day. Certainly, there must be some crossover with social media usage overlapping with mobile screen time or people watching Netflix while playing on their phones. Despite this overlap, it’s clear that some powerful distractions have become ingrained into our daily lives. These never-ending distractions can make achieving our goals much more difficult.

Technology is a double edged sword that is simultaneously the most badass result of human ingenuity and the most dangerous obstacle to self-fulfillment.

With widespread access to technology and the diversity of apps, people often get tempted into using the very device that distracts them as the tool to try and overcome distractions. When you search for productivity apps on the app store, there is no shortage of attractive options. All of which promise to help you conquer your day and supercharge your time management, only to end up increasing our habit of using our phone with its many other distracting applications.

Of course, phones aren’t all bad, and there are some applications explicitly designed to circumvent our mobile addiction. Applications such as Forest and AppBlock can be used to set aside dedicated times where your screen is locked out until the timer runs down or specific applications are blocked to prevent you from unconsciously opening up the app and having your time disappear. When combined with dedicated tools like Beacon Reminder, there are some powerful options for overcoming distractions and achieving your goals. Sometimes simplifying the tech may be the key to cutting through the noise.

Generally, building good habits and achieving goals comes down to some simple behaviors. The Atomic Habits framework boils it down into four steps: Cue, Craving, Response, and Reward. Essentially it means that there is a cue or trigger that is the same each time and causes you to be reminded of the task you need to accomplish. Craving is simply the motivation to perform a task such as drink the morning coffee or put in time at the gym. After craving comes the response or action you have to perform to receive the reward. Lastly, the reward is, of course, the satisfaction of having accomplished your goal. Utilizing the entire Atomic Habits framework in tandem with powerful dedicated tools like Beacon Reminder is a sure-fire way to achieving your goals.