Got 30 seconds? Check Twitter.
Got 2 minutes? Check Facebook.
Got 26 minutes? Watch Netflix... or Instagram. #tbt #omglol #lookatmenow
Got an evening? Binge watch Breaking Bad or worse... LOST.
Thanks to smart phones, we have "perfected" the art of filling in between moments with something.
The internet is a tool. And tools can be used for good or bad. I have nothing against social media (follow me here, here, here and over there). Shameless plug. What I have a problem with is succumbing to the temptation to fill every spare moment with entertainment.
You know you have a Low Value Default Mode when you are consistently filling the in between moments with activities that are of no real value to your life.
The danger of Low Value Default Mode is that it all adds up. It doesn't advance you where you want to go. It steals the minutes from your day and ultimately it can steal, or severely delay, the big dreams you have.
How good do you feel about yourself after scrolling through every social media app you have for an hour? If you are anything like me, you don't respect yourself more.
On the flip side...
Recapturing those minutes and hours to do something that advances you in the direction of your goals is so powerful!
When I open my blogging app and write most of a new post before I get out of bed, I feel amazing. I'm sure there are studies that show doing work in bed is a no-no, but I consider it a win over Instagram any day.
It takes forethought to change your Low Value Default Mode to High Value Default Mode.
It takes intentionality to make that change.
Know what you want. Do you want to own your own business? Keep a running list of entrepreneurial blogs or books for those moments that you usually fill with social media browsing. Do you want to make a name for yourself and your craft? Schedule an hour or two a day to write.. about your process.. about your dreams.. about your industry. Do you want to become the next Buck animator? Wake up early to work on a bad ass personal project.
Make it a habit to...
Condition your Default Mode to crank it up a notch and produce something of High Value.
Here are some things that will help you capture your minutes and use them rather than fill them.
- Blogging apps. I use Squarespace and they have a great blogging app. I'm using it to write this at 5am before I get out of bed.
- Replace the I'm-bored-so-I'll-check-Facebook default with push-ups or walking for 5 minutes.
- Replace Netflix with reading a book by someone smarter than you in order to learn something.
- Before watching a good movie, spend 30 minutes sketching or writing. Earn that movie.
- Facebook News Feed Eradicator has become my silent accountability partner when it comes to wasting time. It's a Google Chrome extension that blocks the news feed. You can still see people's accounts individually and get notifications and messages. I installed it to focus for a couple of months. I can't imagine going back.
Entertainment is not a bad thing, but defaulting to it out of boredom or just filling time is not the best form of entertainment. Use entertainment as purposeful relaxation time.
Earn your relaxation time by putting in great effort toward your dreams.