In the spirit of the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, I wanted to share about this nifty app I started using at the beginning of the year that has helped me stop wasting time and get my focus back where it belongs. As an introvert, my relationship with social media is a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand, I social media with intention, being that I enjoy the life-giving communities that I am a part of online. As a matter of fact, I even met my husband through social media, so it’s not uncommon for me to feel a closer kinship to my online friends than some of the people I associate with IRL. On the other hand, too much screen time can overstimulate me and start the anxiety ridden FOMO cycle when I feel especially engaged in online dialogue (or as is often my case, a good round of oversharing).
The struggle is real, folks.
As awe inspiring as this technology that allows us to connect with humans, information, and data is, moderation is important. I know I am guilty of being run-run-run from the moment I wake up till the clock strikes 3:00 and it’s time for me to round my kiddo up from the bus. My day revolves around to-do lists, budget making, bill paying, meal planning, therapy scheduling, checking in with my loves on social media (of course!) and more, but rarely do I take a moment to check in and see how I’m doing. For the most part, my days run like a well oiled machine that is hardly self-aware of how close it is to the edge of burnout.
At the end of the dumpster fire that was 2016, I definitely felt the toll of taking on too much with too little self regard, when I heard about the Moment App. Sometimes I would find myself longing for a time machine to transport me to 1999 when the only phone I had was my hot pink cordless landline. I don’t want to regress in the advancement of technology, but sometimes the soul could use a good refreshing a la late 90’s. If you are wanting a self assessment of how you are using your iPhone in hours and minutes of time wasted I would start here. For android users, there is a similar app called Quality Time that I would check out.
So how does it work?
The app primarily runs in the background, you don’t have to think about it too much, depending on your settings. You can set daily limits and goals for your phone usage. You can even exclude certain apps from counting towards your daily phone usage. For example, I exclude my reading and productivity apps since I use them to get things done throughout the day, plus it only counts time where your phone is unlocked. So if you are are like me and listen to music (or audiobooks) in the background while getting things done, it will only count the time where the app is lit up on your phone. The only engagement that you have with Moment once you have personalized your settings is a simple screenshot of your battery usage the first time you pick up your phone each day. This allows the phone to make a report of how many hours and minutes you are on your phone and specifically how much time you are spending on certain apps.
There is a feature of the app called Phone Bootcamp, which takes things to another level and really makes you conscientious of your daily habits regarding your phone. This feature is a 2 week program with 14 challenges. The challenges aren’t progressive, meaning you don’t necessarily have to keep following previous rules with each day, but I think it is beneficial if you do. Some challenges were more difficult than others, while some challenges seemed like a no brainer to me.
Like this one.
I mean no judgement, but really? Ewww. Even if not for the gross factor, the graphic below makes a good point for the loss of precious time when you have your screen time on the crapper.
The most bizarre challenge, also raised a very good point about what we are saying with our phone usage.
This one was pretty eye opening as to how often we use our phones when we are around other people. It reminded me of that scene in Kate and Leopold where Leopold stands up “when a lady leaves the table”. I think the only exception to this would be if you are having screen time together. This definitely made me more aware of how often we are apt to pull out our phones even when trying to spend quality time with the people we love.
For me, the most beneficial challenges were the ones that involved altering my morning and evening routine and rituals.
I noticed that I had more energy in the evening when I gave my phone a “curfew”. Usually after I finally get my kid to bed I feel too exhausted to finish whatever items are left to be completed on my list, however without the encumbrance of keeping my phone on me in the late hours, I had a surge of motivation. Since I am an introvert, I do tend to live in my head most of the time. I’m constantly thinking about things that were said, plans that need to be made, connections between things that have happened in the day to other meanings– my brain is a busy place. Being able to slow down at the end of the day helps me slow down some of that busyness so that I can ease into the morning without going a million miles a minute.
Nothing stresses me out more in the morning than having to look at a screen upon hearing an alarm, still blurry eyes from the remnants of sleep and dreams from the night before. My mornings are busy enough with coaxing my five year old out of bed and getting him out the door for another day of school without the added chirps reminding me that my phone demands my attention in those early hours. Not feeling pressured to check in at the crack of dawn made making Day 11 a ritual rather than a one time challenge much easier. Writing is my thing. As much as I live in my head, self reflection doesn’t come so naturally to me. I have to be intentional about thinking about how I am feeling about certain situations or how I am feeling about myself. Being able to make a habit of getting alone with my own thoughts, working them out through writing has brought so much peace to my life and is a wonderful way to start the day, not to mention a great segue to morning devotions or prayer.
The very last day of the challenge was to go completely off the grid (well, with 2 minutes grace anyways). This was a little unnerving since it was during a school day and I was a little nervous about my son’s teacher trying to contact me, but other than that it was pretty liberating to party like it’s 1995 even if just for a day. I have started trying to go cold turkey once a month on a day where I know I don’t need to be contacted for emergencies. It’s a nice little way to reset each month and refocus on what really matters and where I stand with the current goals/dreams I am trying to reach at this stage in my life.
So if you are feeling the Daylight Savings Time blues today, I would consider giving Moment a chance and you just might find some extra minutes, if not hours in your day!
*Disclaimer* I do not work for the developer of the Moment app and am not being paid to promote their service, I just really love it and think you will too!