Tag Archives: free time

Saving time: shut off your computer more often

Today, I have another tip that should also prove useful for those who want to have more free time:

Shut off your computer more often.

I’m starting to find that this is a great way for reducing the time you spend at your computer. Most people nowadays never shut off the computer unless they are going to sleep or leaving their house (and even then, computers often keep running). The idea is that the computer can be constantly ready for us to use any time we think of something we would like to do. And of course, most of the time, when you sit down to check that “one thing”, you end up doing a lot more than you wanted to, get distracted, and end up losing tons of your free time.

I find that simply shutting off the computer is a great way to help prevent this, at least partially. When our computer is turned off, it is much less likely that you will want to turn it on just to check up on one thing. You simply won’t feel like waiting until the operating system and your user settings load, and will opt to ignore it and do something else instead.

This won’t always work, of course. But each time it does, it is quite likely that you have just saved yourself some considerable amount (sometimes even hours!) of time, which you would have lost through internet-related distractions. Of course, you might be leaving your computer on so that you can have some large files downloaded. In this case, go ahead and leave it on; do consider, however, that downloading a lot of files can often also lead to a considerable waste of time – learn why here.

So, from now on, make it a habit: every time you finish using your computer and want to get up to do something else, don’t just shut off the monitor or put your computer into hibernation – shut it off completely. You’ll see that just by following this simple rule, which doesn’t really require any effort or discipline, you will reduce the time you spend at your computer, and ultimately – you’ll have more free time everyday.

Hope it helps, and let me know how it worked for you.

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Saving time: have control over what you watch

People are often complaining that they wish the day was longer so that they would have more free time, so it got me thinking : are the days really too short, or do we simply fail to use the time that we have properly? This prompted me to start thinking about ways to save up more time and use the time I have more to my pleasures and enjoyment. Starting this day, I will be writing short articles like this one, in each of them briefly discussing one thing I believe could help achieve this goal.

The first thing that came to my mind is movies/TV series/sit-coms/etc. I’m sure there are tons of people who, upon finding out about an interesting new thing to watch, will download the whole package: if they hear of a new interesting TV series such as Lost or Dexter, they will download the whole first season (or perhaps even all seasons). If they hear of an interesting actor, they will download all the movies with that actor. If they see an interesting movie, they will download all other parts of that movie and sometimes even extra related materials.

What this does, however, is it makes it extremely easy for us to watch a whole lot in one session. We start watching the first episode of a show, for example. When the show is over, we will immediately want to watch the second episode a lot of the times, because we are still full of awe and enjoyment, so we want more of it. Some video players actually automatically start for you the second episode of a show as soon as the first one is over, so you don’t even have a chance to say “no thanks!” 🙂 At this point, we do not notice that this has a destructive effect on us because we are feeling great. This changes though once we realize that we’ve spent the last 5 hours watching a show. With time, we might start feeling that, because of all this, we are failing to do things which we would really like to do. With time I believe this could even lead to lowered self-esteem, but I don’t want to go too far 🙂

All of the above is understandable; after all, we like it, so why not have as much of it as possible? We want to watch it, so you want to watch as much of it as possible. This would make sense if we didn’t have other exciting stuff that we would love to do, but fail to do them because of watching TOO MUCH stuff on our computers. This is where “interesting” starts to turn into “dangerous”.

SOLUTION:

My solution for this is really easy. Simply don’t download so much stuff at once. If you like a new show, download only one episode and watch it. Since you don’t have a second episode ready for immediate watch, and you have to undertake some actions (and wait a bit) before you can watch the second episode, this will give you just enough time to reflect on whether you would prefer to do something else with your time, or if you would really just prefer to watch more. You will have made a conscious decision about this, not dictated by emotions, and you will be better off with it.

That’s the whole idea. You only download that which you actually plan to watch now/tomorrow, and nothing more.

Very easy, right? Please, do try it. Thanks to this, you will not only suddenly realize you have more free time and you are doing and accomplishing more, but you also get to enjoy your favorite show(s) for much, much longer, since you don’t finish watching all episodes in just a few weeks 😉

Have fun