Inventions and Gadgets: Save Time or Take Time?

gadgetsSo many people are struggling with trying to get “everything” done. Many years ago when inventions came along they helped save time.  The automobile made travel faster. Refrigerators and freezers meant fewer trips to the grocery store. Inventions like the washing machine not only made keeping clothes clean much simpler but because the task no longer required our constant involvement, it allowed for time to be spent doing something else.  You could be washing clothes and relaxing with a book at the same time.

But the best inventions today usually require more of your time, not less. How much time do you spend interacting with your smartphone?  What were you doing with that time before you had a smartphone?  In the case of email, what were you doing with that time before email existed?

For every new gadget you consider, there is time spent researching it, learning how to use it, accessorizing it, upgrading it, protecting it, cleaning it, etc.

The lament that there’s never enough time is constant. If you feel like you have less time than you used to it’s simply because, like the example above, new inventions that require your active involvement have become a part of a normal day.  A normal day that was already filled before these new inventions came along.

For most, going backward isn’t practical. The answer is to take back control by making thoughtful decisions about how you want to spend your time.  How much of your time is going to be spent looking at your smartphone using social media, dealing with email, playing games, researching new time-saving apps. (How ironic is that last one??)  Are you going to forego some sleep so you can check email one last time before bed?

A friend was in town recently and we only see each other a couple of times a year. I teased her in good nature about putting down the dang phone while we were having breakfast.  How crazy is it to ignore each other while we’re in the same space and then later text each other about how we can’t wait to get together?!

Think carefully about how much time to spend interacting with a gadget. Always remember that how you spend your time is up to you. You make the choices. If you don’t like how your time is being spent, change it.