How to get back 30 minutes of life each day

Technology can save you a lot of time. But the reality is that it can also suck up a lot of your attention and resources.

Here are some simple steps that will save you at least 30 minutes per day. Fact. (We actually measured!) … :

1.Disable ALL notifications on your phone (+5 mins). I mean every single one, yes, even Whatsapp. You must get to the point where your phone begs you to enable push notifications. You know that have done a good job when you get messages like the one above. You want to decide when to get distracted, your apps must not compete for your attention.

2. Disable your iPhone access code ( +3 mins). According to In the Moment, an activity tracker app, I pick up my phone at least 70 times per day. We estimated that you save at least 2.30 mins per day if you get rid of your access code. Which means that on a yearly basis, I save more than 13hrs otherwise spent inputting my code…NO you don’t need to care about security and privacy...

If you do care, consider this. If you don’t cheat on your partner, you don’t mind kids picking up your phone and you trust your friends / colleagues ( yes, big assumption here…) you don’t need to bother with a code.

3. Unfollow everyone on Facebook (+ 7 mins). The objective here is to make your Facebook feed more interesting but also less diverse. You should go through your list of Facebook friends and ask yourself the following questions :

a. …do I actually like friend XYZ? YES / NO

b. …does friend XYZ talk about, or share, content I care about ? YES / NO

c. …is friend XYZ living >1,000 km away from me AND I want to maintain a relationship with him or her? YES / NO

If one of the questions above is NO just unfollow the friend.

4. Unsubscribe from every single marketing email you receive(+ 4 mins). If you don’t want to go through this admittedly tedious job, at least use this simple google Inbox feature: Message bundling.

5. Do social media only when standing up (+ 10 mins). Social media is largely about entertainment. Engagement workflows of social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat were engineered with billions of datapoints: they are simply too good to resist. So you have to approach them as if you were approaching cigarettes, alcohol, or whatever your weakness is. Standing up is a good way to boost your awareness while you are on social media: when you feel your legs getting tired you’ve already been on it too long!

6. Simplify Siri’s life (+ 1 min). Voice recognition is so handy to command your phone while running, driving or moving in general. The reality is that when you need it the most, it often does not work. However, you can make it do its job with a simple trick.

Let’s take phone calls for instance. Your 5 most dialled numbers are pretty much the same for everyone: 1. girlfriend/ boyfriend/ wife, 2. mum /dad / sister / brother, 3. Friend A /Friend B / Friend C, 4. Colleague A, Colleague B

What you need to do is to save the name of your contact with the actual family / partner / friend name.

For example, put your wife’s number in under ‘Wife’, or your sister’s number under ‘Sister’.

Siri will FINALLY work for you, without confusion around names and pronunciation.

Now, it is up to you to develop your own routines to finally make technology work for you, instead of you working for your “smart devices”.