Do you ever get up early, make a to-do list and feel ready for the day, just to have the day evaporate. Now it is 5 PM, and you are wondering where all your time went?
It isn’t Netflix for everyone, some people do this with YouTube, Wikipedia, Instagram, Facebook or just plain-old TV.
And the worst part of it all? We aren’t even enjoying ourselves!
When I decide to Netflix (which is different from the Netflix Vortex), I pick my shows carefully, and I watch with 100% focus.
On Vortex days, however, I just intend to watch one episode of some show I don’t care about. It is something easy, 20 -30 minutes per episode tops so I can eat my lunch while watching something in the background.
And that is where it all goes wrong…
I will start with my lunch, but the episode is finished before I am. So I start another one and then when I finish eating… the episode is still running, so I keep on watching.
Ok, I watched two episodes now and it is 1:42 PM, oh well… I might as well watch another one. I’ll start working again at 2 PM. Oh, look at that, it is 2:15… let’s do one more.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
So Netflix is off limits for me. No Netflix until I’ve finished my entire to-do list and I am ready to get sucked in the vortex.
I work FOUR more hours in a day.
Obviously, not all of that time used to be wasted on Netflix. But I was just less focussed and subconsciously telling myself it was ok not to work. To just relax, be in the moment. I deserved it; I am a hard working entrepreneur!
Well, no more.
I know I am not the only one. Everyone has their own “vortex.” You just get sucked in and go from one distracting thing to another. Just to please the instant gratification part of your brain.
Which honestly feels great! – in the moment at least…
But it messes with your long-term goals, the things that will make you happy in five years.
But discovering your vortex and steering clear of it can be quite the challenge.
How to discover what your Vortex is
Maybe you read the story above and recognized your
But If you don’t – and you do feel time slipping away, it is time to discover what your vice is.
- Install an activity tracker on your phone. Go to the app store and find one that will tell you how much time you spend on your phone and what you are doing with that time. You might be surprised to find out that those 30 minutes a day on Instagram are actually 3 hours.
- Do a hour-to-hour planning and write down what you did in those hours and what kind of things distracted you. After a couple of days, you will probably have a clear understanding of what it is that is taking up all your time and energy.
- Evaluate how much you love your job. Sometimes you aren’t doing anything other than working, but time does seem to go by faster than you can work. This COULD mean that your workload has increased, but if that isn’t the case you are probably procrastinating by staring at your screen or working on “work-things” that aren’t necessary at all.
So you know, now what?
Don’t do it.
Yes, it is truly that simple.
Tell yourself that you are NOT going to do it, not even for 10 minutes. Because you and I both know it will never be 10 minutes.
“But Daniëlle, I use Instagram for work.”
Well, I guess that is a bit more complicated. But you do know how long a task should last. So set your alarm and when the alarm goes you HAVE.TO.GET.OFF.INSTAGRAM no matter what.
Didn’t finish your task?
Wait 5 minutes before you go back so you can’t use the “I am not finished” as an excuse to keep scrolling. Then take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and explain why you didn’t finish your work on time.
Because it is either because you have lousy time management, or because you were secretly scrolling through your feed.
Both need to be addressed if you want to be more productive and focused during the day!
So what is your Vortex?