Throughout the day, we use electrical equipment and we let our time consciously or unconsciously be stolen. We do not ask why we look at our mobile phone just because it vibrates. Sometimes we use modern technologies to achieve our goals, but often it keeps us from doing so. We only realise how much time we really have during the day when all the distractions are absent. In a self-experiment, I reported about this. In the following, I show 5 reasons how a simulated blackout boosts your efficiency.
1. Get to know your time killers
In everyday life we always have our permanent companion at hand! No matter where we are, we get our smartphone to occupy our free time when we are bored or to check if we received a new message. At home, we sit in front of the computer or tablet and dive into virtual worlds to recover from our everyday life. The possibilities are almost unlimited and we often do not realise that many things only unnecessarily cost us time.
Many people face the need to be constantly accessible. They look at their smartphone every few minutes and want to react quickly to changes. When something happens anywhere, we want to be the first to comment. If we do not reply to a message within a very short time, it is considered strange.
Tamagotchi of the modern age
Many video games for smartphones are designed in such a way that after a certain time, your attention is needed. Virtual farms need to be harvested, otherwise the vegetables fade. In a virtual city, new tasks have to be given otherwise the economy will fall. Or a virtual being needs to be fed so he/she does not die.
Researching and aimless surfing around
Often we find ourselves landing somewhere else when we wanted to search for something. Through researching you can also often encounter more interesting things, which you also have to look into immediately. Sometimes, we also fall on pages with funny pictures or suddenly look at cat videos.
Addiction to internet / entertainment
When it was still common in the 1990s to count every minute you were online, today one counts the minutes he/she is offline. An unpleasant feeling spreads when we cannot research something that is rumbling in our heads at the moment. One would absolutely like to know whether new messages have arrived. The latest videos of his favourite channel must be watched. We just want to be online for a moment but then lose the focus of the thing we have just been working on. It is also immediate loss of energy and time to solve the problem. Coming back to the Internet gets the highest priority.
2. You will have time to think about life
Without the constant stimulus satiation, one sits there and does not know what to do with his time? So far, at least one device has filled every free minute in life without ever having been questioned. After a while, however, you begin to think about your life. What did you achieve this year? Do you want children? Why are you still single? Do you want to build a house? Many questions bubble out of a sudden and there is nothing that could side-track one of them.
It is recommended to have a notepad with you during a blackout challenge to write down all the questions and answers you have. But when you already got into the flow and started to define life goals, you can directly start brain-dumps.
3. You redefine your priorities
Although we know that we have important things to do, we do not do them. Regardless of the consequences that come with it, we let ourselves distracted. There are excuses like “Just 5 more minutes surfing!”, “Just checking the mails!” Or “My mobile vibrated, I have to look at it!”. We are held away from our important goals in life from morning to evening. The entertainment factor is very large and we do not want to miss it. However, when these are missing, we suddenly concentrate on the things that are important in live. Also the time we spend on important things is always very fast. After all, we want to reach our goals and also have our breaks for relaxing time.
4. You break your daily routines
On one hand, daily routines are good because we unconsciously need less energy to do tasks than consciously. On the other hand, routines can already be so firmly integrated in life that they no longer lead to their goals. Do you have technological support for your routines; you will quickly notice in a blackout challenge what you actually do. We consciously questioning things we do and thinks about whether we still need them at all.
5. You do things you would not actually do
We have redefined our goals and started to work on them. Despite this effort, we still have enough time in the day. Now it would be time to reward ourselves with a computer game or aimlessly surfing, but this isn’t possible in a blackout challenge. We therefore look for other distractions in the apartment. We open crates which had not been opened for a long time. Go through its content and even discover things in the house that had already caught dust. We have a puzzle that we wanted to finish for years. We clear out the wardrobe and create space, since we don’t wear many things again or want. We find our old favourite sweater, which has a hole so we wanted to sew it. An old collection of stamps, which we can have a look at again and sell Many things that simply have not received attention are rediscovered or simply perceived.