Have you ever sat down to figure out how much time you actually spend each week on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter accounts? Let me ask you this: If you were 12 years old, what would your parents be saying about the amount of mindless screen time you are putting in these days?
Not that long ago, I came to the realization that I was spending way too much time on my computer before my day actually got started. My morning routine of walking the dog, working out and reading had gone by the way side. Instead, the first things I found myself doing were walking down the stairs, patting the dog on the head and grabbing a seat at my desk to catch up on the latest Facebook news, play my next word in Scrabble, and catch up on what was happening in LinkedIn and Twitter. The next thing I knew, it was 7am and I was rushing to get ready for work and had hardly said a word to my wife.
One morning I was sorting through some emails and I came across an inspirational story I read a few years back. It was story about a professor that used a glass jar, some rocks, pebbles and sand as a metaphor to show his students that if you prioritize the important things in life (family, etc), your life will always be fulfilled (see the box below for the actual story).
After reading it again, I quickly realized I was getting way too wrapped up in social media, which was blocking me from spending time on more important things.
That morning I sat down to do a quick review of my priorities…
- More quality time with my kids.
- Dates with my wife
- Professional and personal development reading
- Working out three to four times per week
One of the things that really jumped out was the workouts. It always seems to be on the list of something I wanted to do, but why was I having such a hard time sticking to a workout routine? I realized that the time I would ideally spend working out was being spent mindlessly attached to my phone, but scrolling and tapping the screen wasn’t exactly keeping me in shape.
It wasn’t until a conversation with a friend during a business trip that I realized I wasn’t alone. We discussed how the amount of time we were spending on social media and what was suffering because of it. We both used to be in pretty good shape, but admitted that our exercise routine had taken a back seat.
Since we both had the same goal of good health and knew we needed to get back to a structured workout routine, we agreed to hold each other accountable and get back to the gym on a consistent basis. Bright and early the following Monday, I jumped in the car, picked my buddy up, and headed to the gym.
It’s been over four years now and we’ve kept up the routine of going to the gym or working out at home on a consistent basis. We both have a lot more energy, feel sharper, and have even lost a few pounds. Although we’ve both had days where we would have rather stayed home, we knew it had to be a priority, and neither of us wanted to be the one to cancel on the other. We both agree that without that accountability, we likely wouldn’t have stuck to it.
What about you? Are you spending too much non-work related time in front of your computer these days and missing out on what really matters most? Is there a goal you have been trying to accomplish, but are finding it hard to find the time? If so, consider the time you’re spending (wasting) on social media, and see if you can make your priorities a priority again!
|Rocks, Pebbles, Sand – the important things in lifeA Philosophy professor one day picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with small rocks. He then asked his students if the jar was full? They unanimously agreed that the jar was full.
So professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked his students again if the jar was full. Again, they unanimously agreed that the jar was full.
Then the professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” the professor said, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things: your family, your partner, your friends, your health, your children, and things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”