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Do You Need Every Alert?

Today marks my first full day back at work after a relaxing two weeks of leave.  

While I was away, I turned off all my alerts for social media, email and other apps on my smart devices.  The only notifications I left on were for personal messages from friends and family.

Do you know what I discovered? 

I don’t need to be alerted every time someone tries to get in contact with me.

I also discovered that I could control my intake of data.  I can choose the times when I check my emails. I can choose the times I check my social media. I can choose the times I read and reply to emails.

I also discovered (or, perhaps, rediscovered) that no one gets upset if you don’t reply to their emails or messages straight away.

Over the last two weeks, I learned (or, perhaps, relearned) to use my smart device the way I want to use it rather than being reactive to it.

For more interesting thoughts on this topic, I recommend Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.

On Busyness and Time Management

“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”

Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less.”

William of Occam

“Simplify. Simplify”

Henry David Thoreau

“The nature of creativity is to make space for things to happen … We can drive it out with our busyness and plans.”

Iain McGilchrist

There has been an increase in commentary recently on the culture of ‘busyness’. Being busy is seen as a badge of honour. If I am not busy, then I must not be productive.

“How’s work?”
“It’s busy.”

“How are you?”
“I’m so busy?”

What if, however, being busy was another form of laziness? By being busy, we are potentially ignoring other parts of our lives that require attention. Our thoughts. Our emotions. Our health. Our relationships. Our wellbeing.

What else?

If you struggle with time management, start thinking about what you can cut from your day, week, month, year or life. Time management isn’t about finding ways to pack everything in. It’s about prioritising what’s important.