I have previously written about social media and it’s time draining abilities, read about it here. This time I used Quality Time app for more precise tracking.
Quality Time app is a superb tool for tracking all the time I spend using different applications on my mobile device.
I realised that I waste most of my precious productive time browsing through facebook and watching random videos on youtube. To address this issue I have set myself some very strict goals for the next 4 months.
Daily Goals for 120 days
Facebook: maximum 5 minutes per day
Instagram: maximum 5 minutes per day
Youtube: maximum 20 minutes per day
120 days experiment results
Beginning of my experiment. I was very cautious and aware, set myself 5 minutes warnings on all the apps. Did not exceed any time. Found myself reading my emails more often and browsing through beneficial informational blog posts.
Did more reading than usual. I listened to audio books more often, as I had more time which before I would waste on social media sites.
As a result I learned more and experienced more.
Facebook – 115 minutes avg. per day = 3.8 minutes
Youtube – 127 minutes avg. per day = 4.2 minutes
Instagram – 64 minutes avg. per day = 2.1 minutes
My learning and exploring different areas of information grew, I felt like I was becoming free of social media.
Enjoyed great holiday to Rome, which increased my facebook usage. But only to post things, not to watch random videos online. Very happy with the process.
Facebook – 169 minutes avg. per day = 5.6 minutes
Youtube – 372 minutes avg. per day =12.4 minutes
Instagram – 84 minutes avg. per day = 2.8 minutes
Had some quality time getting ready for my holidays. It was a bit stressful but most of my free time was spent reading other blogs and good sources of information.
My Facebook usage peaked during holidays as it was too easy to browse through the timeline when lying on the beach. I became lazy.
I started playing Money Race to improve my financial knowledge. As I progressed through the game I became obsessed and it peaked my interest.
Facebook – 271 minutes avg. per day = 9 minutes
Youtube – 120 minutes avg. per day = 4 minutes
Instagram – 21 minutes avg. per day = 0.7 minutes
Money Race – 1416 minutes avg. per day = 46.8 minutes
I had more free time as I wasn’t travelling. Worked on my projects a bit but started to drift back to old habits, facebook usage peaked to 14 minutes per day.
I started to feel like I was wasting my time badly watching random videos on youtube more than often. I became too easily influenced by social media again.
Money Race obsession
I realised that Money Race became an obsession and decided to stop playing it completely as I felt I have learned all it could offer to me.
Facebook – 449 minutes avg. per day = 14 minutes
Youtube – 188 minutes avg. per day = 6.2 minutes
Instagram – 44 minutes avg. per day = 1.5 minutes
Money Race – 700 minutes avg. per day = 23.3 minutes
Facebook – 1004 minutes avg. per day = 8.3 minutes
Facebook was my biggest enemy when I started and I feel like I managed to fight it rather well. I had a great beginning and a not so good ending but generally I have improved at handling it and I feel like I will do better in the future.
Youtube – 807 minutes avg. per day = 6.7 minutes
Youtube is sort of friend but secretly trying to stab you in the back. It pretends and often offers some great information – videos like Ted talks and documentaries but then it has the dark side of silly puppies, useless unsolved mysteries and then top 10 of something nobody cares about.
This dark side is filled with irrelevant silly information which is interesting and entertaining but means nothing to me. It is very difficult to stay on the good side and it does suck up my time quickly.
I averaged 6.7 minutes per day on youtube which is not a lot but this was only tracked on my mobile device. I usually spend a lot more time on daily basis using my PC which could rock up and exceed 20 minutes daily average.
Instagram – 213 minutes avg. per day = 1.7 minutes
I don’t feel too much influence of it. I was active before, but now I just turn there to check a picture or two or to upload things. Not much to say, as I only averaged 1.7 minutes per day, often not using it for weeks.
Money Race – 2116 minutes avg. per day = 17.6 minutes
I threw this one in there for fun and to help it scale up other apps. It shows my obsession for nearly two months. Good thing it was beneficial to me but seems like a lot of good time went there, maybe even a bit too much. One more reminder to us all that once we get hooked on the game it can suck up your time like crazy.
What have I learned?
Reducing the use of facebook, youtube and other apps are definitely freeing me more time. The key is to minimise distractions in general and to spot what works and what doesn’t. Then good time can be invested back into working on what matters and getting things done.