Time well spent

At the risk of clogging up the internet, sundry bandwidth, your attention, or your craw, I’d like to turn your attention to a website and movement that truly is Time Well Spent.

The Time Well Spent movement is all about reclaiming our lives from the miraculous wee devices we have in our pockets, on our wrists, and before us on the desk or sofa. We all know that most “news” sources are clickbait-ey horrors, their only goal to have you click on everything in sight, promoting shit you don’t need and outrage in equal measure. Mobile apps and web sites are designed to suck you in: for example, we have the concept of a “Youtube Vortex” in our home, whereby a single innocent link leads to watching reams of videos and losing fifteen, twenty minutes of a precious day.

After a while, one has to say “enough”. The Time Well Spent site has some excellent ideas for pulling things back to a more even keel. I recommend you check it out.

These ideas worked for me (in iOS, and to an extent macOS):

Organise your apps
I moved social media apps to their own folder called “Nonsense” and also moved all messaging apps into their own group, with the exception of Slack which is genuinely useful (and for which I have minimal notifications enabled — see the next item).
Tailor notifications
Sort out notifications on your device so that you only get to hear from people (and work-related stuff if you want). No Instagram, no Facebook, no Youtube. They’re all ridiculous, and they’re so needy! Consider turning off lock screen notifications and sticking to less intrusive app icon badges.
News. Argh!
If you get sucked into news sites, consider taking some time to tweak your news settings: iOS has an in-built news app which can throw up stories in your lock screen, and Android has the Google Play Newsstand. I dropped all the default gubbins, poison like The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Fail et al and I feel so much better for it. When you dislike certain news sources you find that you are tailoring what news you see. Consider a balance of topics too: don’t go all-out on Brexshit, Trump and other ludicrous modern nightmares, whack in some science, crochet, nature, neckerchief collecting, technology — whatever floats your boat
Dim yer screen, get rid of the blues
Use Nightshift (iOS / macOS) or f.lux and the rest so that your device screens lose the blue, and dim as the evening sets in. This really does wonders for your little head, especially if you’re like me and sometimes read stuff on your phone at bedtime.

What tips do you have?

Comments on this post are now closed.


I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.