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How We Lose Billions Of Hours And Money On Social Apps Without Even Noticing It

How We Lose Billions Of Hours And Money On Social Apps Without Even Noticing It

The time and money we spend on social apps is shocking, and here’s the truth revealed:

People spend 1.15 billion hours each month on playing mobile games.

Games rank second behind social media activity in terms of time spent on devices according to a survey conducted in 2016.[1]

On average, we spend 2 hours on social media apps per day, which add up to 5 years and 4 months over a lifetime.[2]

In case you’re wondering, you can actually fly to the moon and back to Earth for 32 times with that time!!

And it’s not just the time that we’re losing.

Social apps gain millions of dollars from us every day.

Many of us don’t mind spending a dollar or 2 on mobile apps—multiple dollars, on multiple apps.

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For instance, one of the top-grossing games in the App Store Pokemon Go, earns as much as $2.3 million per day; while another popular game, Candy Crush, makes $1.1 million a day.[3]

Now you’re probably a little concerned about the time and money you’ve been spending on apps, so it would be a good idea to look at why this is happening, and what you can do about it.

We spend a lot of time on our mobile because we feel bored easily and our phone is too handy.

Boredom doesn’t make us happy and it’s natural that we want to get rid of it no matter what, and impulsive behaviour, such as playing with the phone, is our way of doing it.

Our phone provides us with a comforting escape from boredom—endless scrolling might be mind-numbing but it’s still better than doing nothing, and we just can’t stop.

The reason why social media apps seem so attractive is that they give us (a bit of) the excitement we crave when we’re bored. On top of that is their convenience, since we always have our phones nearby and unlocking them only takes 1 second.

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But do you know that playing with the phones can’t really kill our boredom?

We thought playing with the phones could keep us busy and happy, but science says the opposite:[4]

A research by Temple University shows that mindlessly playing with our phones actually eats away at our patience as well as self-control. The more time we spend on mobile apps, the more easily we feel bored. We also end up getting more impulsive, which means we become less able to resist our phones.

The more time we spend on mobile apps, the more difficult to resist them. The boredom in us simply will never be killed.

Although it is normal for us to reach out to our phones when we feel bored, it’s still possible to avoid the downward spiral. You just need to pay attention to how you spend your time.

Here are several tips that can help you detox from social media addiction.

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Challenge yourself not to check your phone during idle time.

You can also try to train yourself to be patient. Set some rules for yourself about using social media apps[5]. For instance, challenge yourself to not check your phone when waiting for the bus or queueing up at Starbucks. Be comfortable with a little boredom. It’s just a few minutes, anyway.

Hide your social apps or games in a folder on the last page of your phone, and mute their notifications.

Stopping once you’ve started is so much harder than not starting at all.[6] If you don’t open the app in the first place, you won’t have to worry about it.

What you can do is to mute the notifications of your addicted apps, put them into a folder, and drag the folder to the last page of your phone. So when you unlock your phone and arrive on the first page, it’s not so easy to access them.

Try to keep the temptations away is a good way to stop yourself from impulsively looking at the apps. Out of sight, out of mind.

Actively explore for more interesting activities that go beyond your phone.

You have to realize that you have a life outside of your Facebook, Instagram, etc., and that Candy Crush is not the only fun thing you can do.

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Go out with friends and talk to them instead of posting on their Walls; read books instead of checking Instagram stories; or try baking desserts instead of crushing candies…and more to go on the list.

When you learn to appreciate and enjoy the interesting things in the real world, you won’t go back to your phone that often any more.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to cut mobile apps out of your life entirely. Just be careful why you’re using them.

Ask yourself: do I really have fun playing with my phone, or am I just bored? Can I do something else instead and have a great time?

Reference

More by this author

Wen Shan

Proud Philosophy grad. Based in HK.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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