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One Super Simple Tactic to Regain Your Time

Published 3/27/2017

In today's episode, I discuss a simple way of regaining time in your day that has worked very well for me.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Today I'm going to share with you one very simple thing that I've done in the past week that has massively affected my habits. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and you're listening to Developer Tea and today's episode, I'm discussing a very simple change that I've made that has had massive effects on the way I'm spending my time. And it's not something that you intuitively would know. This is a very simple tactic that you can use. And sometimes I like to have very simple things on the show that can help you out and this is something that I've run across for myself that has been incredibly... When I say incredibly effective, I'm not being hyperbolic. I've regained a massive amount of my time by taking this very simple step. And all I've done is rearrange the apps on my phone. That sounds really kind of simple, almost stupidly simple. But the reality for me and probably for you is that I would go to my phone and I would swipe through the various screens and I would find myself falling in the same places. Whatever application that I would go to instinctively or maybe just habitually, I would open that application and do something once again, habitually. And we've talked about this on the show before, how we get addicted to technology. And more specifically, we get addicted to routines in technology. And how many times have you opened a tab and before you know it, your fingers are typing. And so often they're typing something like Facebook or Twitter or maybe they're going to email or a site that you frequent often. For me, I had the Reddit application on my phone and I would very often just open Reddit. Almost mindlessly. I wasn't really thinking about the applications that I was opening on regular basis. So here's the experiment I want you to run as a listener of Developer Tea. And I hold the listeners of this show to a high standard, a very high standard. I want you to experiment with me. I want you to learn and push yourself to grow. And even though the show is short and even though I'm definitely a proponent of a peaceful life, I also believe that sometimes it takes change. It takes drastic change. And this isn't that drastic of a change. I want you to pay attention to the things that you are opening out of habit. Okay, take a day and notice the things that you are opening out of habit. Maybe it's the browser on your phone or the browser on your computer. Or maybe it's a particular app for me. Once again, it was Reddit and Gmail. Those are the two apps that I would open all the time. And then there was a few games that I would open whenever I was procrastinating or being mindless. And quite simply, either delete those. So remove them entirely from your phone or move them. If you have an iPhone, move them into folders. And I'm sure there's an equivalent on Android. I haven't used Android even enough to know that. That tells you how much experience I have with Android. But move them into folders where you have to intentionally go into the folder that you're looking for to open that application. Now eventually your habits will reform and you'll need to do the same process over again. But at first, what you'll find yourself doing is opening your phone once again habitually and going to the same motions that you are going to previously. Your thumb will swipe and you'll be looking for that application that you so often were opening before. If you're like me, the fact that that application is not there is going to act as a reminder to be mindful of how you're spending your time on your phone. Is the thing that you're going to open actually important for you to open right now? Is it really the best way to spend your time? Are you really going to enjoy that game enough to go and find it in a folder or search for it by typing the name of it into your phone? By simply creating this small barrier, kind of a cognitive barrier to interrupt your habits, you may see a massive jump in productivity. I know for me it was very effective. It sounds so simple and so small. But once again, you're spending a lot of time on these devices. If you're like the average person, you're spending maybe 10 hours using some kind of device during the day. It's important to explore how changing the device environment changes your behavior. If you fall into a rut, if you have habits that are not serving you well, then it's worth investing to shift, modify those habits, interrupt those habits, and remind yourself to be mindful of how you're spending your time. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developertee. I hope it's challenging and I hope you will try this very simple experiment of moving and deleting apps from your phone that you are habitually going to. And I know it has been super effective for me. My guess is it will be super effective for you as well. If you don't want to miss out on future episodes of Developertee, go and subscribe and whatever podcasting app you use. Hopefully you are taking that podcasting app and putting it into a folder so you aren't habitually opening it. Like I have done so many times with so many applications that I use. Thank you so much again for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope it provokes thought and conversation. Now we don't have a sponsor for today's episode, but I do want to remind you about Soft Skills Weekly. This is a weekly curation done to buy me of Soft Skills Advice and Conversations and Articles. These are things that are coming out on a regular basis. And Soft Skills are incredibly important. Whatever you want to call them, Soft Skills or People Skills or the personal side of your job, whatever you want to call those things. That's what we're talking about on Soft Skills Weekly. You can go and sign up, it's free, 100% free for you, Soft Skills Weekly.com. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developertee. And until next time, enjoy your tea.