Rules for Reducing screen time

I am worried about my sleep. My sleep patterns are very disturbed. I wake up every 2/4 hours wide awake. This has been going on for last 4/5 years. I feel like instead of spending good 8/10 hours in bed, not having slept. My mind is clouded and I cannot think straight. On somedays I have to take power naps just to refresh my mind.

I thought maybe this is part of adult life. Stress and work pressures keep me working till 11 pm. Also since my job is about social media and web. I spend most of my time in front of my 3 screens. The Mac, Ipad and the iPhone. No wonder all these devices now come with dark mode built in them. Maybe I am not alone who has these sleep issues because of screen times.

Dark Mode

Even if you work in the dark late in the night. You cannot completely avoid the white light. This means your circadian rhythm is getting confused. It is not able to make out day from night. This means your brain doesn’t send signals to your gut to reduce the cortisol levels and increase the melatonin levels which is needed for sound sleep.

You can of course buy melatonin pills and get addicted to sleeping pills. I prefer to correct my habits.

Some of the rules I am putting in place to reduce my screen time after 8.30 pm

* Note I am writing this post on a dark screen at 11 pm *

Don’t WhatsApp only call after 8pm

Whatsppp chats go on and on. You feel you are just yapping away without actually making any real connections. It is just a dopamine reserve which you feel like tapping into. I don’t reply after 8.30 am and if necessary will call up the person to end the call and make some real talk.

Keep the devices faraway from the bed

This is tough. I have all my todo list and notes app which I need the moment I get a new idea. I am using a pen and paper to take notes and list down task. But sometimes I need the phone.

Twitter

Twitter is strictly off limits after 8:30 pm. Here are some handy hacks if you are prolific twitter consumer.

1. Twitter lists

One of the strategy to reduce my FOMO issue. I have distributed and categorised my twitter followers into twitter lists. This makes me efficient at gathering any information I may be mussing out.

2. Keep only people who talk less on follow others go to list categorised.

There are some people who talk a lot. They are just white noise which you don’t want to be part off. Please mute them or unfollow them.

3. Status updates drafts

If I feel the urge to put out a tweet, I write them on my paper notepad to post it the next day. Impuslive twitter use is curtailed and the idea is recorded.

Screens suck you in

These apps are made for only one thing. You maximise your attention. They are gamified to give you dopamine shots so you are hooked. Once you are aware of this important fact, you can work your way out. Instead of being used, you can use these platforms to enhance your real life by making worthwhile connection through information gathering.

Power of Habits

One cannot emphasise the importance of Habits.

A time for everything

One should have a time for everything one has set has priority. There is a right time for everything. Social media or screen time is not before bed.

A time for reading

I mostly read simple books on audio format and if the idea is complex I use my kindle to read. Some books cannot be followed on audio as you tend to multitask when listening. Complex writing needs your complete attention. I have set the time for reading at writing after 8:30 pm. I am using kindle to read. It is still a screen, but I feel the e-ink display is much much better than OLED/LCD display screens.

Do you have screen time issues? If yes, do try to regulate it. I strongly recommend.


Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash, 2019.

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Tiktok is a virtual dance bar I am addicted to.

I had given up! I thought I was only interested in deep meaningful content and stories on the internet. It has been years since I have watched anything lightheaded. I don’t like Netflix, I think the content is rubbish. I don’t like movies. It takes me several sittings to complete a movie. I was so frustrated. I declared on social that I had reached “Peak Content”.

I thought there was nothing which could hold my attention. I cannot have long meetings with friends IRL ( In real life). I have a problem with boredom. Real life meetings can be very boring.

Addicted to Twitter

Twitter is a place full of interesting people talking about interesting thing. Instagram is a place with interesting people talking dumb thing. Facebook is for old people.

My Tiktok weekly time has crossed Twitter

I spend humungous amount of time on twitter. It could be somedays 8 hours but on an average at-least 3 hours a day. It is the place I throw my ideas around to watch for reactions. I also listen to lot of people and I collect the good intelligent people.

Twitter is very bad for the nervous system.

The content on twitter alternates between highly insightful  to completely biased and sometime ludicrous cat and dog videos. It is like driving a Ferrari ( your mind) constantly shifting gears and braking like hell. You feel you taking two steps forward and one step back or the other way around sometimes.

Here comes Tiktok

Tiktok is not listed as a social network in the apple store. This is a bit surprising and relieving. I am happy that they are not another social network. It is listed as a creative app. The categorisation is true. I tried making a video and couldn’t. I cannot act to save my life.

Why do I call it a virtual dance bar?

Mostly it about pop songs. The app was known as musical.ly and it has transformed now in to Tiktok. Boy and girls are enacting some viral song and dance moves. There is some dialogues and sher-shayri also.

Out of the 1000 or 10000 videos I watched last 3 days. I think i saw 70% videos of girls. Most of the girls were very pretty and very good actors. I was attracted to some of them. So I decided to check if others also had similar feelings in the comment section. The comment section had some 50 to 150 “cute”, “ Beautiful” and other nice adjectives. Note – This app is used by mostly (perhaps 85%) people come from small towns. They are not able to articulate anything beyond their lust on the comment section. I believe there is strict moderation by Tiktok as I didn’t find any obscenities in the comment section.

What is an old uncle doing on Tiktok ?

I don’t know. For me it is entertainment in the purest form. No one is trying to sell anything ( a couple are selling makeup tips and dance tutorials). I like the fact there is no blatant commerce there. I haven’t seen any advertisements yet. There seems to be some micro-payments thingy, but I haven’t explored it yet. It is just 3 days for me on tiktok.

The Future of Jobs

It is 2030 AD. All crony capitalist have been killed. The other rich people who have been spared their life, had to give all their wealth away. There are no companies and there are no job left as a consequence.

This time it was a rather bloodless revolution. All the revolutionaries had to do was take control of the AI. Now AI is running power plants and steel plants. There is only one ministry, which is the Ministry of AI.

Skilled people do-not have job. The AI does it. But it is still not the extinction of the Homo Sapiens race. The AI has teamed up with the Aam Admi.

# The future of Business in 2030 AD

All business are one man business. No one employs anyone or is employed. There are no conglomerates or MNC’s. They have been abolished and punished for externalising their costs on the environment.

Everybody is their own Boss and there are no employees.

## The future of Jobs

Jobs are contract jobs. Every morning there are list of Jobs available. It is the uberfication of Jobs. If you pick it up you can gt paid or someone else makes it.

### The future of Governments

People who have no skills are paid a Basic Income by the ministry of AI. They are encouraged to become creative. Creative people run the ministry of AI.

My Writing Apps

Yesterday I declared I am some kind of a writer. Today I need to flaunt my writing tools. These are writing apps I use. I have outlining and editing tools which I will need another blogpost to write about.

For really long form writing like a novella, screenplay or a novel. (These are dream projects which I might never finish or undertake.) I think scrivener is the best tool out there. For outlined writing like a blogpost I mostly use Highland 2 . I also have rightmargin which is great for planning a blogpost. But I never get time to plan a blogpost. Most of the blogposts are ideas and is written down in 15/30 minutes like this one.

For my personal blog I am using Author which is my new love. It can publish automatically to wordpress and is just super neat. It also helps you insert citations and links with keyboard shortcuts.

Some other tools I like for writing

Focused is a great tool if you want to go on a marathon writing session. It really helps you focussed. There is Ulysses which is also pretty good.

Do you have any favourite writing apps?

A meditation on Focus

Doing deep meaningful focussed work brings you joy

Man, I just cannot focus. The joy of doing deep focussed work also know as “flow” is lost for me. Up until now, I just didn’t think I had the tools to focus deep work.

But recently I have discovered some wonderful productivity tools like taskheat which helps me plan my projects by breaking it down in to a flow chart. But before you can focus, you need to know what the hell should you focus on. It shouldn’t happen that you focus on some project and then after wasting years you regret it. I am using Airfous for prioritisation.

Once I am decided on the one task I need to accomplish, I use one of the most simplistic app called Flowlist. This app is just amazing to just focus on that one thing you need to dig deep into.

I am an advanced app user. I have never been able to use a paper to jot down my ideas. I am a digital first inspite of belonging to Zen X. If you have been doing this on paper, you are miles ahead of me. But I am catching up soon on getting focussed and experiencing the joy of deep meaningful work.