221 How to Gain an Extra Month in Your Year


What if I told you that you could gain an extra month in your year? Not through magic or giving up sleep, but by taking control of the minutes and hours that slip away on your phone. In this impactful episode, I share my personal journey of clawing back nearly three weeks of my life by taming the time-eating beast that is my smartphone.

In this episode, I tackle the shocking statistic that we spend an average of 38 days per year on social media, and I challenge you to consider how much of your time you are willing to sacrifice to these platforms. I don't stop there though, I offer practical tips and strategies to help you set boundaries and regain control over your phone usage.

In this episode, you will:

  • Uncover the impact of social media is having on your time and productivity.
  • Learn practical strategies for managing mobile device usage.
  • Understand how these strategies empower you to make conscious decisions about your time.


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Everyone. Today I want to share something with you that I did at the start of last year. I started this in January of 2023. And basically, what I have done is I have added on almost three weeks into my 2023. I have given myself the gift of three additional weeks this year, and next year I'm looking to push myself to see if I can actually give myself another additional week as well. Now, no, this doesn't require any magic. I'm not going to tell you to sleep less or anything like that. You get to decide how much time you want to reclaim back into this next year, and then I'm going to tell you exactly how you can do it, so let's go ahead and jump in.

Welcome] to the Work Life Harmony] podcast. I'm your host,Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have work life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my work life harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram at Megan Sumrell, with the word harmony and my team will send it right over. Hey there, welcome back to Work Life Harmony. Now have you.

I want to ask you a question. I want you to really really think about this. What would you do if you had an extra 30 days every year gifted to you? Really think about that. How would you spend that time? Now, there's a reason that I'm asking you that because today I want to be breaking down some really powerful data points with you to actually illustrate for you how this could be possible for you in your life. But before we jump in on that, I want to make sure that you understand I am not here to make the blanket statements that we all get so annoyed with people saying like, oh, just scroll your phone less. Or oh, play less games. Or like we all know that right, it's kind of like if someone's like, oh, I'm trying to lose weight, and someone goes oh, exercise more and eat less sugar, yeah, no kidding, thanks. It's the how that sometimes we get stuck on. So today I'm actually going to be giving you some really specific tips and telling you exactly what you can do to help make this happen, if you are looking to free up extra time in your day.

So let's talk through first some of the new data points that have come out. So, on average, this was updated about six months ago. On average, they're saying now that people are spending 151 minutes per day on social media platforms and that rounds out to be 2 and 1 half hours. So it's technically 2 hours and 31 minutes, but let's just say 2 and 1 half hours. Now. A couple years ago it was 1 and 1 half to 2 hours. Now it's moved up that the average person is spending 2 and 1 half hours on all social media platforms combined.

I'm not here to tell you if that's good or bad for you. Maybe you run your business on social media platforms and you need to be there. Maybe you know you're wasting time on there. Only you can know that. But what I want to do is present to you what it might look like if we even just were to cut back one hour a day, and then how to easily make that happen. So let's start with this of two and a half hours per day on social media. What that averages out to over the course of a year is it's 912 hours for the year, which ends up equaling 38 days. 38 days, guys. That's over a month of your year potentially being spent.

Now I'm going to not just talk about social media. Maybe there's games on your phone. Maybe you love you know I get sucked into the New York Times games every morning. Maybe there's Candy Crush or whatever the latest is. So, again, this doesn't just have to be social media, but if you're spending an average of two and a half hours a day on your mobile devices on things that you know are not where you're really desiring to spend your time, that ends up being 38 days a year, holy cow.

Now, again, I'm not going to tell you stop doing all of it. I know I'm not going to. Sometimes my downtime really is. I enjoy flicking through Instagram reels and my poor sisters, I send them way too many because that's a way that brings joy to me and the three of us laugh through those. But here's what I want you to think about as you're entering into the new year. Instead of just saying that's it, I'm cutting back. Ask yourself how much time per day do you choose to spend on social media, games, apps, whatever things that you are not actively working or that are not what you would, at the end of the day, go yeah, I'm feeling super productive, all right. So ask yourself how much time are you willing to say yeah, I'm totally fine spending X amount of time per day doing that For me. I have no issues saying I spent 30 minutes of my day bringing myself humor by looking through Instagram reels, all right. So that's step one is saying decide how much time you are willing to say yep, I'm investing my time there. That's how I choose to spend it. Now here's some strategies to actually help you honor those boundaries. I'm going to be telling you what you can do on your iPhone, but there are similar things that you can do on Android devices as well, so you can Google that really quick to see how do you set app limits. So what I have done on my phone again, I'm an iPhone user is.

When you open up your iPhone, if you go into settings and then in there you can opt to choose a thing called screen time, then under screen time there's a menu item called app limits. When you go in there, you can set limits on a per app basis on your mobile device, saying here's how much time I want to spend. So, for instance, I have a 30-minute app limit on Instagram on my phone. So what happens if there's a day where I spend more than 30 minutes? What will happen on your device is the app will essentially get grayed out and when you try and open it, you'll get a pop-up message that says you're out of time for the day. Now you can just tap and say, yeah, ignore, and you can go right back in, or you may not, but just having that boundary set up, because there are days where I tap in and it's like you've already spent your limit, megan.

Now, in that moment, I'm making a conscious decision Do I want to spend more time there? Have I gotten everything done that I wanted to get done today? Is this the best use of my time? Setting those app limits has been a game changer. What's great is you can do it on a per app basis. So maybe you decide hey, I do want to allow myself X amount of time on this app, x amount of minutes over here, x amount of minutes over there. You can change it on each app and then you can have apps that don't have any app settings on there. So that's the number one thing that I would encourage you to do.

Now, the second thing is any of those tempting apps that aren't the things that you truly need, move them to the second page on your screen, on your mobile device. So all of those things that are tempting for me, that might take away from my productivity, that might lure me down into rabbit holes, none of them are on the home screen on my mobile device, so that I'm not seeing them whenever I open it to do something on my phone. Now the third thing that I recommend is, once you've moved those, what that's going to help you do is I kind of have time during the day where I'm like, yeah, this is my downtime. I am now proactively choosing to go through and spend my time there. So that way I'm aligning kind of my refuel downtime with the time that I'm willing to spend on those particular apps, for I'm not getting the stuff done on my plan Now.

Another suggestion that I love to give people is if you have more than one mobile or technical device. A lot of people today will have a phone and they'll also have a tablet. One of the changes I made is there are a few games that I really like. I like doing a lot of puzzle games and those are only installed on my tablet because I don't carry that around with me. So if I am sitting down to unwind maybe I've got 20 minutes I'm like you know what? I just want to do a puzzle. Then I'm going and getting my tablet and sitting down and all my fun stuff lives there and not on my mobile device, so that I'm not as tempted to jump in and do that.

So here's what would happen for you in the time I'm recording this. We're getting ready to head into a new year. All right Now, if you're listening to this later again, you can do this at any time. But here's what your life could look like as you roll into the new year here, into 2024. If you free up just one hour a day one hour a day, you will add on 15 more days to your year in 2024, freeing up one hour. So thinking about your phone usage, mobile usage if you decrease it by one hour a day, you're giving yourself just over two more weeks. Think about it right now, as we're wrapping up the end of the year, how many of you are in a position where you're looking back and going? I just wish I had more time.

I didn't get this finished. I wasn't able to do that. Well, what if I handed you potentially two weeks bonus weeks onto the end of the year? What would you do with those? You can now have this year over year over year, simply by setting up the boundaries that you desire to have on your mobile devices.

Now, I did this at the start of this year. What I did was I looked at my average screen time reports because your phones will show you that every week by app and realized where I was spending time. I was like I didn't realize I was spending that much time there. So then I asked myself how much time of my life am I willing to give up to that per day? And I set up those app boundaries. And what has happened is my screen time has gone down, on average of this year, 55%, which is a game changer.

And here's the best part. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything and I'm getting ahead on the things that I really want to spend my time on. So this isn't. I'm not here to tell you like, go cold turkey, stop doing all that. No, no, you get to decide how you want to spend your time, but then take the next steps to put those boundaries in place. Now, if you're somebody that already is running really, really lean and mean, then you may already be totally set. But maybe now you challenge yourself, like what I'm doing next year is to say, ok, can I cut back another 15 minutes a day, because that will free up another week. That will give me one more week of extra goodness into my 2024. So I would love to know if any of you all are going to take me up on this challenge and think about setting those boundaries and then programming your devices to support you on that.

Now, if you are unclear on how a lot of these settings work or how to help really set up your phone so that it minimizes distractions and temptations, I have a fantastic little mini course available for you inside of my app, which is called the Pink Bee. If you have not downloaded the Pink Bee app. It's available on Google Play and the App Store and I highly encourage you to do so. Once you've downloaded it, you can unlock all the little mini training courses in there for just $1.99 US. It's just a one time thing. It just pays for hosting the app and then you'll have access to that content forever, and so you'll be able to go back in there and kind of check out and say, ok, what's the next step that I want to take to help really optimize and minimize distractions on my phone, along with all of the other great courses that are out there as well.

So happy prepping for 2024. Can't wait to hear if you are looking to maybe add two weeks or even an entire month into your year by setting up those boundaries for yourself. Getting on top of all things time management, organization and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the App Store or Google Play and download the PinkBee app. It's one word the PinkBee. It is jam packed with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and end to harmony. And if you have a question you want me to cover on a future episode, go to iTunes and ask your question in the podcast review section and while you're there, don't forget to leave a five star review.


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