My Quest To Be More Present And Enjoy Life More

Lately, I have been wasting so much time on social media and on other things that it has started affecting other areas of my life. There are so many distractions in life, and I want to change that. In fact, I started writing this blog post at around 10 a.m., and it is now 6:30…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

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My Quest To Live In The Moment And Enjoy Life More #howtoliveinthemoment #dreamlifeLately, I have been wasting so much time on social media and on other things that it has started affecting other areas of my life. There are so many distractions in life, and I want to change that.

In fact, I started writing this blog post at around 10 a.m., and it is now 6:30 p.m. the following day, and I am just now really getting started.

I’ve been getting so distracted by so many different things that it has caused me to waste a huge amount of time, and therefore, I have not been able to live in the moment like I would really like to.

I constantly have something on my mind, and I feel like I’m not always enjoying the fun moments. This is because I’m always thinking about other things and distracting myself with everything that happens in life.

Due to this, I recently shared this on Twitter:

200 people participated in my little Twitter poll, and nearly 90% said I should delete Facebook off my phone. I was shocked that so many people voted for that. But, maybe that would help me be more present than I have been.

This made me think about what else in my life was causing me to waste a ton of time, and how I could change to live in the moment even more.

I’m guilty of rushing through everything, and many times, I feel like I am a very impatient person. I’m guilty of running through life too quickly and not stopping to really enjoy it.

I’ve decided that I really need to slow down, enjoy what’s happening right now, and to live in the moment. I want to be more focused so that I can truly enjoy whatever it is that I am doing.

Life goes by so fast, and I’m sure many of you are wondering how it’s already 2019. Your children are growing up, you may be finishing college, you may be feeling older, and so on. Life just goes by so quickly!

Because of that, I just want to make sure I get to experience more of this beautiful world that we live in. I want to start enjoying it instead of being preoccupied by the things that are holding me back.

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Here are the changes I’m making to live in the present.

 

I’m deleting Facebook off my phone.

After that Twitter poll, I decided to go ahead and delete Facebook from my phone. I constantly checked Facebook way more than I should, and it really did cause me to not live in the moment as much as I wanted.

I actually deleted Pinterest and Twitter off my phone a few years ago, and it’s been great. So, I decided to do that with Facebook too, as I’ve just been spending far too much time on it.

The average person spends many, many hours on social media each week. Between Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others, it can be quite easy to waste your entire day.

If you find that you are spending too much time on social media and it isn’t allowing you to live in the moment, you may want to delete some social media accounts from your phone, or even shut them down all together. You can even create a time block so you cannot access your accounts during certain periods of the day, and so on.

 

I’m unsubscribing from unnecessary emails.

Subscribing to emails is really easy to do. Over the years, I’ve subscribed to a ton of of different websites and companies. I have subscribed to so many that I get several hundred emails that land in my “Promotions” tab on gmail each day, along with hundreds more in my “Primary” tab as well.

I spend so much time every day filtering through them, but they are mostly junk. It is tedious, and sometimes real emails get lost in the mix as well!

So, I am unsubscribing from almost all emails, except for blogs that I enjoy and whatever is absolutely necessary.

Everything else is getting the ax.

If you find that you are spending too much time everyday checking, reading, and deleting emails that it isn’t allowing you to live in the moment, I definitely suggest unsubscribing to the ones that aren’t meaningful to you.

 

I’m no longer checking my email over and over again.

This is one thing that I am pretty bad at and it causes me to not live in the moment like I would like to. I have an addiction to checking my email– I will literally reload my email inbox over 100 times a day.

This wastes a huge amount of time, and there’s really no need for me to answer all of the emails I get the moment I receive them.

I think the problem for me is that I feel obligated to keep checking my email in case something pops up with my business or if a reader has a question. I want to be as available as possible, but that means I am constantly checking my email.

This is a hard thing when you own your own business as you want to be available to your readers or clients. But, you will be a much better business owner or employee if you are able to create a better work/life balance and live in the moment more.

While it may not feel like you are spending that much time checking your email, the time and focus it takes to switch back and forth can really add up. It can also lead you to losing your train of thought when you should actually be doing something else, like enjoying what’s around you and living in the moment.

Instead of checking your email all day long, I recommend setting time aside throughout the day to check your email. You can even set a rule that you only check your email after you finish a task, and you can turn off email notifications if they are distracting you.

You may want to work down to only checking your email just a few times a day, or even (EEEK!!!) once a day.

This will probably be hard at first, but when you realize how it helps you become more productive and live in the moment when it comes to personal things, you will have wished you did it sooner.

 

I’m batch working.

While I do enjoy writing, it isn’t part of my average work day. When I am in the writing mood, I like to write blog posts well in advance.

This means that I usually batch write. I may get really into writing and crank out a few articles in one day, and maybe even ten or more in one week. Then, I won’t write at all for a month or two.

I will continue to do this, as this is how I enjoy writing blog posts the most– only when I’m in the mood to write! 🙂

If you want to live in the moment even more, I suggest separating out tasks to focus on what you are currently motivated to do. Depending on what you do, this might be difficult. But when you focus on one type of job at a time, it will help you save time and live in the moment even more.

 

I’m significantly cutting back the amount of TV I watch.

I haven’t watched TV in a few months now, and it feels great! We actually haven’t even turned on our TV since around August of 2018.

I love a good TV show, and I can honestly say that I was once wasting a lot of time by watching too much TV. The average person watches TV for over 35 hours per week! I’m not sure if I was watching that much, but I know I was close.

Can you imagine what you could do by reclaiming just half of those hours each week?

You could work more on your side hustle, spend more time catching up with your family and friends, and just live in the moment even more!

I actually have firsthand experience with what you can do when you stop watching so much television. When Wes and I moved into the RV we actually got rid of Netflix, which was our only form of TV. When we got rid of Netflix, I was able to spend more time on my blog, spend more time exploring the new places we were traveling to, etc.

 

I’m outsourcing more work.

I’ve slowly been passing more work to my editor and virtual assistant, and it’s been great.

For years, I did nearly everything on my own for Making Sense of Cents, but it has been nice to have help as the blog has grown.

When I tell people that I run Making Sense of Cents 95% on my own, they are shocked.

Many people think that there is a team of people running this business.

But, nope, it’s just me, my editor, my virtual assistant, and my tech person– and they are all only part-time.

If you find yourself low on time, then you might want to consider hiring someone to help you out. There are virtual assistants, personal assistants, and everything else out there. You can designate certain tasks that don’t exactly need YOU in order to function.

Plus, you may find that outsourcing certain tasks will give you more time and energy to reach your other goals.

Even if you aren’t a business owner, you can outsource by finding someone to mow your lawn, clean your house, or do car repairs. This will give you more time to start a business on the side, or whatever your goal might be.

In order to outsource effectively and to make sure that it’s actually allowing you to live in the moment, you will want to think about a few things, such as:

  • Could outsourcing some tasks help you earn more money, or would you be better off doing the work yourself?
  • Do you feel comfortable doing the task, or would you be better off leaving it to an expert?
  • Would outsourcing the task help you focus on your goal?

Outsourcing can be hard at first if you feel the need to be in control of everything. But with good help, you will probably find that you have more time in your day to devote to other things, like being able to live in the moment and focus on more important things.

 

I’m focusing on being organized.

This might surprise you, but I’m usually not an organized person at all. If you ask me where something is, I usually respond with the most ridiculous answer, such as “that [insert item] is under the stack of papers that’s between the two bins of shoes I never wear.”

For the most part, I remember where stuff is, but it never makes any sense.

I’m an organized mess, as they say.

Here are some surprising statistics I found from Simply Orderly about being unorganized:

  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day, the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.

Being unorganized can waste a significant amount of your time, and like those numbers show, it can lead to late fees, stress, lost items, and more. I know some very unorganized people who say they always know where things are, but I’m not sure that is the case for everyone.

Learning to be more organized can be a hard thing to adjust to, but it can really help you reclaim some of your time. If you are wanting to work towards a more organized life, here are several helpful time saving tips for becoming organized:

  • Put things away when you are finished using them.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it.
  • Write things down in a notebook or planner so you don’t forget anything.
  • Regularly tidy things up.
  • Switch to a minimalist lifestyle.

Like I said, learning good organizational skills can be difficult, and you will have to commit if you really want to take part in this tip. But, being organized will make your living and working spaces more functional, and it will probably even clear some mental clutter.

Posts related to minimalist living:

 

I’m not wasting time on being negative.

I spend a lot of time dwelling on negative things that might happen, so much so that it causes me to miss out on the good things that are happening around me. This is because there’s almost always more good moments than bad ones.

If you are thinking negative thoughts, then you are wasting your time. Yes, it is really that simple.

Instead of dwelling on the negatives, such as regret and/or gossiping, you can be more productive and use that time for things that actually matter.

By being more positive, you will be able to better simplify your life and live in the moment.

Do you find that you are too distracted? What are you doing to enjoy life more?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Facebook, unless if you’re using it strictly for business whereas your content is automatically syndicated to a Facebook group or Facebook fan page, is quite distracting. I find myself time to time logging into Facebook to check up and see what people I know have posted and how it relates to me. Unfortunately their posts “at least some of their posts” don’t relate to me. I don’t send them messages often nor do I click the like but too much unless it’s religious related content. Other than that, really not on Facebook like that because I’m focused on the “side hustle millionaire”mentality online and consistently creating lots and lots of content.

  2. I’m in the process of doing an email unsubscribe. It’s so much quicker to just delete them from my Inbox but I’ve realised I’m just deferring the problem so I’ve started to make time each day to review what emails have come in and unsubscribe from the ones I no longer want to receive. And I don’t miss them at all.
    I don’t watch much TV – a bit of live sport only. I actually watch more YouTube than I do television.
    And the past year I made more time to read books – something I used to do a lot of but stopped. I read over 40 books last year and I’m on track this year to read 50.

    1. Yeah, I’ve just been deleting the same ones for years. Unsubscribing would help solve the problem!

  3. Great points! I also did some unsubscribing today from emails that I was checking once a year… I don’t watch TV but youtube, and that’s my biggest problem these days…
    Interesting about removing Facebook from the phone. I think I’ll start from turning off Instagram notifications, they interrupt me through the day and ask for my attention.
    Good luck with your changes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. This post really hits home with me. It seems like social media can suck out all the free time if you let it. I have slowed down on my facebook reads as that was one of the biggest culprits and also whittled down the amount of people I actually include on the Facebook newsfeed.

    TV is a tough one because I do enjoy watching some shows but for me it is a relaxing activity and I watch it off of a DVR so I don’t have to wade through commercials.

    I have a similar method with writing on m blog as well. I get into a certain “writing mood” and can crank out a few posts at once, then don’t feel like touching it for some time. Blogging can be the biggest time vacuum of all if you let it. Reading other blogs, commenting, writing on your blog, and responding to comments.

    1. Blogging definitely takes a lot of time ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. DNN

        You can say that again, Michelle. When a person uses speech recognition and puts the awesome power of their voice to work in blogging, the process of content creation and content marketing get smoother and easier. Though on the other hand, content marketing alone is alot of work even with a speech recognition program.

        It has to be something a person wants to do because if they create content and blog away to their heart’s content even when they’re not getting $ gUaP $, they’ll be a side hustle millionaire when least expected. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Mike

    This is one of the things that I have struggled with and it certainly impacted my involvement with my wife and kids. It unfortunately takes up a lot of time especially for those that rely on social media for business purposes. The principles you outlined are great for cutting wasted time. One of the things Iโ€™ve started doing is setting up a time, usually after my kids are asleep, to respond to messages emails and everything else except for text messages that seem urgent.

  6. I love what you said about email. I have issues checking email as well! I am sooo obsessive about it, but not really ready to not check it yet, haha.
    But you gave me some good food for thought!!

    1. Ugh, I am so bad with email haha

  7. Hi Michelle,
    It is such a struggle – there are just too many choices on what you can do with your time. I have done many of the things that you suggest. Setting goals for your free time can also help – we tend to only set goals for business or work but turning it around can help you turn off all the distractions when you want to be in the moment.

    1. It is definitely a struggle – but the first step is realizing it all!

  8. Great article Michelle.

    Deleting Facebook off my phone was super hard at first but I can honestly say it’s amazing!

    Thanks for sharing all the things your working on this year.

      1. Eric

        Really good article Michelle! I am right there with you and guilty of many of the same time wasting items such as falling into the blackhole of my social media accounts and checking and rechecking email over and over again. I appreciate your insights into how you plan to address these things to be more present.

        I feel like our society has reach a tipping point and we may slowly start to see a trend towards being more mindful and living in the present. I know it is one of my goals in 2019 as I am gotten a lot of criticism from my family for not being present. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Loved the article! Now that I have a child, I’ve started realizing just how much smartphones steal one’s attention. When my son thinks of his childhood, I don’t want him to remember me with my face looking down at a device.

    One thing thats greatly helped me is I don’t have any push notifications or even pop ups when I get a text. I check my phone a few times a day and respond to texts or emails then. It takes some adjusting from the instant gratification world we’ve become accustomed to living in.

    1. Smartphones waste so much time!

  10. Alyssa Padgett

    Love this! I deleted Facebook off my phone years ago and it was such a good decision. I also use the Newsfeed Eradicator chrome extension so I can’t view my newsfeed on my computer, so even if I hop on Facebook during the day, there are fewer distractions!

    Spending less time on my phone is on my list this year too. I set up parameters in Screentime on the iphone so I can’t open any of my social media apps after I hit my daily time limit and it has made the biggest difference having that accountability. It was also shocking to see just how much time I was spending on my phone… Super embarrassing.

    I need to work on your point of outsourcing more work. I’m terrible at that now and I know it would make a big difference on my mental health if I took the time to do it!

    1. That’s a good idea! I may have to try that extension.

  11. Sara @ Budget and Bliss

    I unsubscribed to almost all of my emails in 2018. It has given me so much peace of mind. I currently receive yours and Bobby’s from Millennial Money Man, as well as emails from EBA. That is about it. Everytime something makes its way into my inbox that doesn’t align with my values or takes too much of my time I unsubscribe. I do need to get better with social media time. I recently started using Toggl to track my VA work and my own blog work. It is eye-opening to see how little time I was actually investing in myself and my business.

    1. I need to unsubscribe to even more. It’s crazy how many people subscribe me to their emails without permission – that really clogs up my email inbox too.

  12. Erin

    โ€‹Hey Michelle,

    I really enjoyed your blog post on being more present!

    I’m currently working through a good little book called “How To Break Up With Your Phone” by Catherine Price, which explains our psychological association with our smart phones. There’s an awesome exercise in there about turning your phone off from Friday night to Saturday night, which feels super empowering, and I try to repeat the exercise every week.

    Would love to see more of these personal posts on your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    Erin

  13. My guess is that when Facebook is off your phone, youโ€™ll find youโ€™ve never been happier ๐Ÿ™‚ sounds like youโ€™re finding a good balance of reasonable connectivity for work and whatโ€™s best for your time and health.

    One way Iโ€™ve helped limit distractions is to open a new window for whatever Iโ€™m working on if itโ€™s on my computer. More tabs = more chance to see email notifications and more temptations! And I love a pomodoro timer (especially because I work online … way too easy to get lost in an Internet black hole)

  14. Well I’d go as far to say that TV and smartphones are the new drugs. You see so many people glued to them and wasting their lives with those things that they are not unleashing their true potential that could change their lives for the better. I’m glad that you cut the Netflix Michelle. And for anyone reading, if you want to relax to one song and instantly change how you approach things and to reflect on your reality to the point where you take massive action, listen to this and immerse in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SFt7JHwJeg. You’ll be glad that you did. Great post Michelle.

  15. I changed most of my online ordering to an orders only email address so I don’t get spammed by marketing email in my primary account. It makes a huge difference in how much time I waste wading past junk!

    I’m also focusing on being more appreciative of things we have that are helping us live better, and continually weeding out things that don’t appreciably add to our comfort or learning.

  16. Emails are my biggest time suck. I leave them for ‘later’ and the unread emails just keep piling up. And yes, just seeing the number of unread emails stresses me out because it feels like unfinished business. You’ve motivated me to take drastic action – I either read them over the next week or unsubscribe.

    I started using Toggl lately and was in for a real shock when I saw how little time I spent on my freelance writing work and my blog and how much time actually went reading emails that did not provide any real value.

    Thank you for this very timely post.

    Diana

    1. I’ll have to check out Toggl. Thanks!

  17. Laura DeAngelis

    Love the post. Really resonated. I Just (like two days ago) started doing the Miracle Morning after hearing about it on a podcast and I already noticed a difference in being present focused and deliberate. Now I should be able to sale through your affiliate marketing course without stopping for something shiny!!! check it out…it’s by Hal Elrod

  18. Erica

    This is a great list. I’ve been implementing the same things. I haven’t deleted FB off my phone but I rarely go to it anyways because most of my time is taken up with more productive activities. However, updating the notifications I get are on my to-do list so I’d only get the ones I care about.

  19. Marco Baatjes

    What a great post! Good on you for deleting FB off your phone, I hope you manage to improve your productivity rate.

    I honestly check all social medias way to much in my opinion and it really puts a damper on my productivity rate for work.

    How do you manage your FB pages if you deactivated your main account if you don’t mind me asking.

    Cheers

  20. Hi Michelle. I totally agree with what you’re saying. I too deleted my FB app. I’m really glad I found your blog because it seems that you’re in the position I’m striving for. I’m a total newbie but your achievements are my goals. I wish you continued success.
    Cheers
    Martin

  21. GP

    Hi Michelle,
    Being more present and living in the moment used to be much easier before technology brought everything to our fingertips. It’s kind of crazy when you look at how much you use your phone during and average day, the stats in iPhone Screen Time can be shocking. I’ve made similar goals for myself to be more present, and I especially push myself on this when I am around my 2 young kids. I’ve set my phone down on the kitchen counter and left it there to help ensure my focus is where it should be. But am thinking I may take the same path as you and delete FB and other apps off my phone to help me further my focus on what really matters in life.

  22. Deanna

    I can totally relate. Itโ€™s so easy to get distracted. Staying on track has been a huge focus of mine lately. Time is something we can never get back. Thank you for the helpful post. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  23. I love the fact that you are doing this. It is something that has crossed my mind a lot recently and I have targeted it as a part of my personal development goals for the year. I get too distracted too easily. I used to have a personal twitter account for news and sports updates. Constantly I was checking this. For some reason, I thought I needed the news at that exact moment in time and I needed to read the instant reactions of every person under the sun. I removed it a month ago and the results have been amazing. Shockingly, the news that I was following still happened without the twitter and I enjoyed reading about it just as much 12 hours later as I did when it happened at that point in time.

    Over the years, we have tricked ourselves (or companies have tricked us), into thinking that everything has to be done instantly and you need to DO IT NOW. The reality is, it can wait. It can wait until you are ready in a budgeted amount of time to do it.

    Thanks for the amazing and inspirational read again. It was JUST what I needed.

    Bert

  24. Jules

    Love this post, Michelle, and I can totally relate. I deleted the Facebook app off of my phone about 6 months ago and never looked back. The only time I log-in is to check new messages in my group threads (like MSOAM!), and when I look at my notifications, none of them are from actual people but are all group notifications anyways.

    I don’t miss it at all and it’s one less distraction to check throughout the day.

    Instagram on the other hand.. now that’s what sucks up most of my time these days ๐Ÿ˜…

    – Jules
    budgetxbabe.com

  25. Heather

    This article really resonated with me because I recently took Facebook off my phone too! I feel so free ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my struggle to stay focused and present in my life. Thank you for sharing!