How to Waste Your Time Better

What does it mean when the first thing we all do every morning is grab for our phone?

Ironically enough, the first article I read this morning after grabbing my phone two milliseconds after I woke up was about exactly that: 3 Astuces pour Mieux Perdre Son Temps, or in English, 3 Tips to Better Waste Your Time.

It read:

Oui, nos vies sont de plus en plus remplies. Mais c’est surtout parce que les écrans y prennent de plus en plus de place.

or in English,

Yeah, our lives are more and more full. But it’s mainly because screens are taking up more and more of our space.

And then further into the article, there was a really powerful video that got my a$$ out of bed real quick. It’s a video of a man walking down a New York City street, passing everyone glued to their phones. You never know someone’s story – maybe each person on the street was texting their mom or studying for an important exam. Sure. More often than not though, we’re on our phones doing something without purpose. He then spits some poetry – phrases like “I don’t care if that panda bear is dancing, or maybe, haha, with a hula hoop. Ok, this is fantastic. I have to share this with my ten friends and ten thousand strangers.” You see how he gets lost in his phone, but then realizes and reminds himself to “Use technology to enhance your life outside of your device.”

So back to the question. What does it mean when the first thing we all do every morning is grab our phone? On one hand (literally), it means we live a life of convenience – convenience in the sense that I can fall asleep watching Netflix on my phone, while it’s charging, and wake up to an app that’s sole purpose is to wake me up. I’m using technology to my personal benefit – what it was created for in the first place. That’s pretty nice.

But to be real, it’s never just that. Just like it’s highly unlikely every person on a New York City street is texting their mom or studying for an important exam. Here I was in bed, ready to tappedy-tap-tap and scroll like my life depended on it, as if I didn’t have a life to be living. It’s like we get lost in our own phones, tapping from app to app, and reading feeds and timelines and stories to feel like we’re all caught up. All caught up to what? The last time we tapped from app to app, and read all the feeds and timelines and stories…eight hours ago before we went to bed?

The question in this blog should really be: How much of our “phone time” is time wasted? If you can look at your phone and honestly ask yourself “Is this doing anything for me?” then you’ll have your answer. Candy Crush is doing nothing for you. Cute puppy videos are doing nothing for you. Checking the weather app when you live in Los Angeles where the weather is exactly the same e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y is doing nothing for you.

How about we review ways to use technology to our benefit: documenting the precious moments of your life, discovering new artists on Spotify, locating the nearest coffee shop, connecting with your friends and family, paying bills, reading compelling articles, etc.

So much of our lives are through screens, and even more when your full-time job is through a screen. When I look at photos of Jo and I traveling and it looks like we’re really living, it’s cuz we are. We use our phones to capture as much as we see fit, but you have to know when it’s necessary to have your phone out and when it’s not. I challenge you to figure out that difference right now.

So much of  “phone time” is meaningless.

But only if you let it be that way.

[Also read: Stop Scrolling, Start Doing]

You Might Also Like

  • Jessica Gonzalez

    Hello, Bonjour, Ciao Damon,

    I recently came upon you and Jo’s youtube channel and I will be honest in saying this, before that I’ve never knew of you both. After seeing your video of speaking FIVE languages I wanted to see more. So I watched a few more of you and Jo and you both had me at BONJOUR…tehe.
    When I was a teenager I was able to travel to several countries in South America. This past summer I went to Europe(Spain) for the first time in my life. Travel is possible even with limited means. Your youtube channel inspired me. This may sound cheesy, but I started thinking about “Life” and how many excuses we make up in our minds to not pursue something that has been brewing in our hearts for so long.

    In one of your Video’s you said ” I want to Work to Live not Live to work” I feel we can get so caught up with work, bills, this thing called life that we actually do forget to LIVE. Not to mention what this post you wrote is about. People on their phones all the time. The art of connecting , conversation is almost dying.I also stand by phones off the dinner table, phones off during gatherings etc. It’s easy for people to disconnect when there is a Big world out there to discover and with that I am following you both on Instagram too xoxoxooxoxoxo (my ig: @paintheadsworld)
    I’ve been teaching myself French, Italian and my native language is Spanish so you both also encouraged me to keep learning and not to give up. And guess what THERE’s TIME to do the things you love when you make the time. So no more excuses.
    All this to say Thank you for what you and Jo are doing. Stay bold, focused and never stop dreaming.

    I am saving to go to Paris oxoxoxo I’m seriously gonna shut up and go…lol

    Jessie aka Painthead

    • You’ll totally get it! Happy you found us! See you one day in Paris <3

  • Kiki

    All of the truth is right up in the article my dear Damon. I just came back from Spain a week ago and all I’ve been doing is removing my energy away from my phone to connect with ‘this’ moment. My work revolves around a screen at current but my love of travel and culture is much stronger. I look up and out always (and Spain also helped me realise I can slow down). I make time for myself and the world. Much love on the article at this time, blessings x

  • Riane

    Eu normalmente não confiro o celular no momento em que acordo. Geralmente eu deixo para o café da manhã, mas hoje… Eu fiz diferente. Fiz diferente e assim que acordei fui checar o que de novo havia. E adivinhem qual artigo o google me recomendou esta manhã?? Claro que foi o seu, Damon. E tirando o fato de que eu li o artigo com a Jo narrando na minha mente e só no final descobri que tinha sido voce, eu entendi completamente o que tu quis dizer. Acho que nosso timing foi perfeito. Obrigada por isso.

  • Cesar Station

    Wow, Damon! This article is just like wow. True though, more than half of our lives are through screens. To be honest I even need to wear glasses because I spend too much time looking at screens (Smartphone, Tablet, TV, Laptop Computer). We should not let our lives be wasted like that. We still have so much too see and to live. Thanks for this, I really needed something like this article I just read. Imma start using technology in my behalf. I’m going to start by practicing my Japanese and learning Italian. I could even start giving english classes through skype…wow…we sure can use technology wisely. Yep, I need to change, although I’ll never consider reading your blog and watching your videos a waste of a time 😉 Peace out Breaux.

  • Matheus Matos

    I get a feelling that we’re sorta of becoming addicted to do that. I’m just trying to change my life by living more every single moment and documenting my time by taking pictures of views that make me feel inspired. Thank you for this article!