Believe me, that thing you’re using to read this article is not your friend.
And even if you’re reading this on your laptop of PC, there’s one thing I want to ask you: How important is your device to you?
I was shocked when I read a weird statistic a while back. An experiment, which was conducted by the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham Trent, revealed that 37.4% of the participants rated their phone as more or equally important in relation to their close friends.
Seriously, what’s wrong with people? 29.4 per cent of those weirdoes even said their smartphone was equally important, or more important, to them than their parents.
Over the past three years, I’ve moved house close to a dozen times. Most people experience moving house as a stressful event. Initially, I was no different. But I’ve learned to love it for one reason: It forced me to think about my possessions.
Too much stuff makes moving and living complex. And I like the opposite.
When I moved to London from The Netherlands in 2014, it was the first time I took the time to get rid of almost everything I owned.
Today I received the 4765th email from a reader who said they are bored and stuck at work. And, almost all people I know, answer this when I ask how’s work? “Not bad.”
Not bad? You might as well say, “I’m bored. Stuck. And not challenged.”
In today’s economy, job burn-out is not the biggest problem. People are more likely to get bored instead of working so hard that they get a nervous breakdown.
People are also more likely to get an emotional crisis because they are bored out of their minds. Sounds familiar? If this is you, you must be careful if:
When I grew up, it wasn’t cool to read. These days, every coffee shop is packed with folks that are reading a book while sipping on a latte.
That’s a great shift. I’m also reading more books than ever. But here’s the thing: It’s not about how many books you read, it’s about how much you retain from what you read.
Most people I talk to don’t have a reading strategy. They just pick up something and start reading. I used to be like that. But now, that’s unthinkable to me. Sure, you might read a novel for entertainment.
For the past three years, I’ve been setting a yearly focus for my life. In 2014, I wanted to work abroad and travel as much as I could. In 2015, I wanted to read more than 100 books in a year. And in 2016, I wanted to work out every day of the year.
I’ve done those things. I love setting a yearly focus because it gives you a clear idea of what you want to do with your time. You’ll be surprised what you can do in a year if you put your mind to it.
This year, my focus is to write more books (even tough it’s not going great, I’m still working on that). But at the same time, I also don’t want to stop reading and working out.
Every time I put off a decision, hit the snooze button, skipped the gym, or didn’t complete my tasks because I didn’t feel like it, I always had an explanation for my continual procrastination.
I told myself I was tired. Or that it could wait until tomorrow. Who cares if you put off something, right?
Well, you should care.
Because you’re the one who’s responsible for your life. Too often, we look at productivity tips, apps or tools as the magic answer to our problems. But that also means we allow ourselves to blame external things for our lack of productivity.
How many minutes of undisturbed work do you get done on an average day?
10, 20, maybe 50 minutes? If you think that sounds low, just examine your life. Most of us can’t go undisturbed for more than 10 minutes.
We’re all so connected that it becomes impossible to find time to focus on yourself and your work. Some of us get hundreds of notifications and messages per day.
You find yourself answering a Whatsapp message here, an email there, talk to a friend, and then talk to a colleague on Slack. Most people’s days consist of answering to notifications
In a way, you’re held captive by others.