It's a dangerous headline for a blog post, isn't it?
If you were to follow it, you wouldn't even be reading this. But while you're still here, I want to share with you the secret to living a more productive, more happy, and more fulfilled life.
If you're anything like me, you probably spend many hours each day in front of a computer. And it makes sense. Computer is a great tool for work and the easiest way of finding information.
And our technology is indeed wonderful. I could go on and on about how amazing the internet is, and how foolish one would have to be to not take full advantage of it. But I'll leave that for another post.
As you probably know, there is also a downside to the digital age. And I'm not talking about health issues. As we spend more and more time in front of our computers, we have less time left for actually living our lives.
That's right. I generally don't consider time spent in front of a computer time well spent. Sure, we need computers to get work done and to look up valuable information. And I also think that computers are the greatest tools humans have ever created.
But in all honesty, what proportion of your time spent in front of the computer is actually productive? Is it fifty percent? Or is it more like thirty?
I wish there was a program that tracks exactly how much time is spent doing different things on a computer. I think I would get around fifty percent of productive time on most days. That's not good enough.
So what happens to the rest of that time?
Some time is wasted on Facebook and other social media. Some time is spent on different news publications and niche websites. Some is lost mindlessly going from one site to another until you don't even remember why you sat down in front of the computer. I won't even get started on computer games and TV series.
If you think that going on Facebook is a substitute for social life, there must be something wrong with you. But if you know it's not the same, why do you spend so much time on Facebook?
If playing computer games, watching TV series, or browsing 9gag is your understanding of fun, you probably don't even realize how much more fun there is in the real world.
If you think you need to keep up with all the news that media corporations want you to know about, you will be surprised to learn what happens when you no longer do.
Nothing happens. Except you become less frustrated and have more time to focus on things that actually matter to you. I stopped following the news years ago. I've never looked back since.
And how about all the amazing information and knowledge that the internet can bring to you? Is that also a waste of time?
It is, unless you're looking for valuable information that can be directly applied to whatever you're doing at the moment. If you care about learning new things for the beauty of learning, you could get a lot more value from reading books.
I'm certainly not perfect at all of this. At the moment I only spend about fifty percent of my computer time productively. With that said, I am making a conscious effort to cut down the time I waste in front of a computer.
Computer is just a tool, and I want to keep it that way. I've noticed that on my happiest and most productive days I never spend more than a few hours in front of the computer. And all that time is spent productively.
For this reason I've decided to actively cultivate a dislike for technology. Computer is not fun at all. It is not a source of entertainment, or even worse, a way to kill time. Computer is, and will be, my number one tool for getting work done.
But it won't become the rest of my life.
If you've read this far, you're probably getting some value out of this post. In that case you could benefit from subscribing to my future posts using the subscribe button below.
But if you're not getting anything out of this, and you're still here... I really don't know what you're doing. But it's probably a good time to finally turn off your computer.
great post. Since essentially 100% of my work is on the computer, I can't exactly follow this advice! However, I have started treating my computer as 100% a work device and very rarely a pleasure device (Netflix etc.). It helps to have things to do that don't have to do the computer – no gaming, porn, etc. – that you can look forward to when work time is over. For me, skateboarding, piano, surfing, guitar, and building up my second business are all cool things I can do that don't really have to do with the computer. Thanks for writing this!
I also work on a computer for many hours each day, and my goal is to become location independent and make 100% of my income online. And that is precisely why I've adopted this attitude. I just can't afford to waste time in front of the computer. Computer is just a tool, and I want to keep it that way.
Most people would agree that having a to-do list is absolutely essential for improving your productivity and getting more stuff done. For the past two months I've been living with a to-do list as well, and it has indeed made me a lot more productive.
I've also learned that just having a to-do list isn't enough to keep me productive at all times. What should I do to further increase my productivity and get even more stuff done?
The answer is quite simple. I should eliminate all distractions. I should only spend time on the things that I wrote on my to-do list on the day before. Yes, I can't go on Facebook while I'm writing a blog post, but it also goes beyond obvious.
Let's say that I get an email that I absolutely need to respond to. Or the phone is ringing. Or I realize that it's been a while since the last time I cleaned my room. Or whatever else seems to be important enough to demand my attention at that moment.
With a bit of self discipline, it's easy to eliminate all the obvious wastes of time from my working routine. When I'm working on my iPhone photography website, I already know I shouldn't be wasting any time on Facebook. That's kind of obvious.
So... I have a problem. I was thinking today and I realized that I am in front of my computer WAY more than I should be. This occured to me when I woke up from one of my naps and made a beeline for the computer. I then realized that I repeat this behaviour every single time I wake up!
Further, there's no reason for me to be in front of this giant box 'o fun. Well, right now there is because I'm writing a post, but for most of the day I DEFAULT to sitting in front of the computer. I scan through the 30 or so sites I have on my toolbar, even though most of them only update once or twice a day at most.
This is sick! Think about it - none of my interesting stories start of with "So, I sat in front of the computer all day...". Every hour I spend in front of this thing is an hour that my life is NOT getting more interesting. I spend a lot of time online chatting with my friends, which I enjoy, but is that really the best use of my time? Probably not.