Stealing From Koalas

There’s a report on your iPhone that displays how much time you spend looking at the screen, on which specific apps. 

I won’t share my screen time, but I will tell you that nearly half of it was spent on social media last week, which feels a tad ridiculous since I warn against habits that won’t serve you in living a better life. 

While social media is the best outlet I’ve found to share my content, it’s the worst app for me to be on. Here’s why. 

-I pick up the phone to post an Instagram story about one of my clients. 

-I see that I have two new messages. “OH, what memes did my true friends send me?!? “

-After looking at messages, a red bar pops up (cleverly on a delay) to bless me with 23 likes and three comments from past posts. I check those too. 

-Finally, I post my story after 6 minutes of “checking things.” 

-Getting ready to close out the app, I notice my neighbor has a new story; she got a new job lately, I wonder if she started it yet?”

– I check her story, then continue on to the next 40 stories right after that because it’s so easy to just tap through to the next one.

WAIT, I realize what I’m doing, have a panic attack, look in the mirror, and bellow “SHAME” at myself in a low, monotonous tone over and over again, and then check my closet to make sure there are no wire hangers.

Ok, maybe I don’t have a panic attack.

But this program that was originally a way for us to share has become another way to consume “stuff,” and we pay with our time.

I’ve taken steps to reduce my screen time so I can increase my “human time.” I usually post using my laptop on instagram. Hell, I don’t even have the facebook app on my phone, I use safari instead because it’s not user-friendly. I also muted all but about 33 people I follow on Instagram.

If you check your screen report and find where a good bit of that time we have less and less has gone, take 1/2 of that time and schedule an “hour of power” into your day or week. 

Block off an hour in your calendar and airplane mode the phone, use a lockdown browser like Respondus if you’re on a computer, put on some ambient music, and work solely on the one thing you think would push the needle forward on living better. 

I’ve done three power hours each week since December 5th.

  • My home is decluttered.
  • I hired a new accountant, fixed some IRS annoyances, got my financials are in order, and I have a reasonable budget in place.
  • I broke out the pen and paper and created a schedule and plan to eat well throughout the day, then got real with myself and realized I needed accountability for this. So, I hired a coach during the same hour.
  • I had time to workout with my staff during those weeks.
  • My bike is road ready to start riding to work (once I find a safe route to get there without becoming a road waffle).
  • Plus, a lot more.

Jordan Peterson said:

“It’s unbelievable. We don’t know how efficient, efficient people can be. It’s off the charts.”

I don’t know what qualifies someone to be who he was referring to, but I believe him.

I know we don’t have more time. I wish we did, but we can carve a little hole for ourselves out of the time we have. 

And if you ever think others deserve your time more than you, ask yourself:

If you’re on a flight from LA to Australia to fight wildfires, and the crew forgot to pack all but one lunch. Who get’s the lunch?

Not the hungry. 

Not the Children. 

Not the Koalas.

It’s going to the pilot.

You’re the pilot for everyone you impact. There’s only so much time. Give yourself some. Steal it back from unhealthy places if you can.


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