How to add extra time to your day?

pink alarm clock

Sorry for my serious face. Your time is valuable, and you deserve seriousness.

I know how crazy I sound. But we can add extra time to an hour day by doing two simple things:

  1. Having a screen time blocker (Digital wellbeing apps)
  2. Waking up one hour earlier than we are supposed to.

I know you are not a morning person, and you also need your phone for work; I get that. I am not a morning person either, and also I love social media, so this is what I did. 

My average screen time was 4.30 hours a day, with Instagram as the primary source of distraction, which means 30 hours a week, equivalent to a part-time job with extra hours. It’s also equal to 65 days a year. In conclusion, I spend two months of my life per year in front of a screen.

Every click, like or interaction is a push of dopamine in hour brain that is not natural and is highly addictive. I come from a family that has dealt with addiction; we are talking: about drugs, alcohol and gambling. I am scared of anything that I could get addicted to.

I never suspected something subtle like travelling photos and dancing videos could get your brain into an addiction cycle. 

Tools for Digital Wellbeing

Have been so far my favourite app for focussing. You can make a to-do list with death lines and specifications of how much time you should spend doing X activities and then split that in chunks using the famous Pomodoro technique. 

While the Pomodoro is running, the app blocks the rest of the non-essential apps, giving you access to them just on your designated break. 

  • Digital Wellbeing Apps

Does iPhone have a Digital Wellbeing app?
“Open the Settings app on the iPhone, scroll down a bit, and then tap the ‘Scree Time’ button. This is the main area that houses all of the iPhone’s digital wellbeing features, in addition to showing users how much screen time they’re clocking in” Source: Screenrant.com

Android comes typically with a digital wellbeing feature, but you can download the app from the play store. 

The idea of these kinds of apps is to measure the time you spend on your screen and set goals to reduce that time. By reducing just an hour a day less, you are getting 365 hours back a year, which means extra two weeks, just like that. 

Also, you can set sleep time where your screen turns black and white to help your brain reduce its activity and focus on resting.

Waking up one hour early than your are supposed

No time to read the book getting dust on your shelve? 
Not having time to exercise?
Not having time to sit and meditate?
Not having time to work on that side project?

Here is the solution “GET OUT OF THE BED ONE HOUR EARLY” sounds horrifying but read me out. Our brains have to get ready for us to sleep, meaning that it requires energy to start and finish the sleep cycle. When you snooze your alarm, all you do is restart that hard process again just for 15 minutes more of “rest” when indeed you are wasting valuable brain energy right before the day starts. That is why sometimes you feel tired even though you slept “properly” 

Everyone, we’ll tell you that they are nocturnal and that they are more productive at night, which could be true. The thing is, life gets in the way in the afternoon and nights, more than during the morning. So those activities that rely on you being alone and undistracted will probably get done better and constantly if everyone is asleep or just not that active.  

According to the CDC  The average adult should sleep over 7 hours a day. But the amount of hours is not enough. The quality of the sleep cycle is what we have to prioritize.

The morning routine starts the night before when you are getting ready to go to bed, and you are planning how the morning is going to go, according to what you planned to do.

“I have to get to work at 6 am; I need to leave home by 5:30 am, meaning I have to get ready by 5:00 am”

In real life, to get that extra hour a day, I need to be up by 4 am, which means that by 9 pm, I have to be in bed.

In my case, by 8:30 pm, I place my workout clothes and a glass of water next to my bed. Also, I leave my book and journal in an easy place to find. 

 

On the picture, you can see how my schedule looks in the morning:

  • 15 min workout: To get the body moving.
  • 15 min meditation: It takes me 5min to warm up to meditate and then have a good 10 min of mediation.
  • 20 min reading: I have my book preselected from the night before, and I focus 100% on it.
  • 10 min journaling: I take this time to read what I did the day before and then keep up with my progress.
By 5 am, my partner is up, and I can get ready and have a quick breakfast with him and then head to work. 
 
Before the day begins, I have accomplished things. I have improve my personal life and my health. Yes there is ups and downs, It is not a magical pathway of energy and efficiency but let me tell you I rather have that hour for myself a day than nothing. 
 

Conclusion

Get your digital well-being up to date and give yourself time in the mornings. 

Books I used for Reference thought this Journey:
Miracle Mornings, Think Like a Monk & Atomic Habits

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