One of the most humbling experiences that I have every week is a notification that I get from my phone that tells me how many minutes of screen time I have had that week.
I usually get it on Sunday morning and I always dread it!
It will say, “Your average screen time is up or down X percentage for however many hours and minutes per day.”
And what’s really humbling is when you click on the notification and dig deeper, because it will tell exactly how many minutes you’ve spent on each app.
I mean, there’s just so much here to kind of humble yourself think, “Oh my gosh! I had no idea!” And the reason you say, “Oh my gosh! I had no idea!” is because you’re totally unaware until it is spelled out for you.
This become particularly humbling and powerful information this week because of something I’ve been studying called your E-v-E.
That stands for “Education versus Entertainment ratio.”
Brian Tracy is one of the people who is credited with coming up with this and your E-v-E is basically the amount of time or the amount of money that you spend on education versus entertainment.
Brian Tracy said that the average person is about 50 to 1. Fifty minutes of entertainment for every one minute spent on personal growth or education!
And at first I kind of felt like “Nah, that’s not possible”
But if you watch one or two shows on Netflix and you’ve just put in at least 50 minutes on entertainment. Plus if you play some games on your phone or if you’re scrolling through reels and TikTok, that’s really more like entertainment.
Even things like listening to the radio or music might be considered entertainment.
I’ve been haunted a couple questions:
“How much time are you spending on education or personal growth vs. how much time do you spend on podcasts that are to educate you and help you be better?”
“How much time are you spending reading and developing ourselves?”
“Is my ratio really as bad as 50:1?”
Because, if I’m on my phone for 3-4 hours a day and I’m at a 50:1 ratio, that means that my entertainment is quite high and my education is maybe 3-6 minutes, 3-6 minutes a day in education.
Now that’s if I’m not reading on my own or reading educational things online. But, just using my phone timers as a guide, I get a pretty good idea of where I am at.
I really started thinking about my own E-v-E and I started to think how I can be better at this. I don’t want my ratio to be 50:1. I don’t want to spend nearly an hour of time for every minute that I spend in education!
I want to do better so I can feel better!
Simple, easy habits to increase my education
First one is one of the easiest ones!
Remember that your environment determines your actions. Your environment determines your habits.
If it’s hard to get to a good book to read you are unlikely to ever read!
One of the habits that I’ve developed is to leave a stack of books in a place that is readily available.
For me, it’s on my desk.
It’s not hard at all if I’m sitting for just a couple of minutes to pick up a book.
I still have to combat the draw of a notification! Strangely books do not give notifications.
But if you want to increase the amount of time that you spend reading, put a good book in a place where it’s easy to get to.
On the flip side, you can make it harder to get to some of your entertainment.
Maybe, hide your remote. Maybe take the batteries out of your remote. Maybe put the remote in a cupboard or closet somewhere, so that it’s not so mindless just to pick up.
Make the remote more difficult and a book easier.
Second idea idea has to do with apps.
Both the location of apps on your phone and the types of apps that you have.
Move your apps around so that more of the education apps are on your front screen.
When you open your screen there they are, much easier to get to, much more likely you will use them.
A couple app recommendations:
The kindle app is great! You can read books and there are some great free books that you can download and read.
Ted talks is another great app. Set yourself a goal and develop a habit of listening to one Ted talk a day.
To make it even more effective, tie that habit of listening to one Ted talk a day to brushing your teeth. As soon as you start brushing your teeth, you start listening to the Ted talk, or maybe you listen to a Ted talk in your car.
Without too much difficulty you’ll increase the amount of learning and personal development that you do.
Third easy habit to build learning:
Either in the morning or at night, write one thing that you learned that day.
My daughter tried this habit. Over the summer, she grabbed a small journal and she would write down one thing that she learned every day.
When you’re striving, and you know, in your mind, you need to write down one thing that you learned every day, then you invest more time in trying to learn you invest more time in picking up books, reading articles, and listening to podcasts or Ted talks that are helpful and useful in developing your mind.
The big question: Why does this matter?!
The key is that research shows that all of this time that we spend on entertainment does not have a dramatic impact on our overall health or happiness.
There are no studies that show that the more time you spend scrolling through Instagram or the more time you spend watching Netflix that you’re any happier or healthier.
In fact, most studies show that all those things, reduce your overall happiness.
Interestingly, on the other hand, studies show that one of the fastest and most effective ways to increase happiness and life satisfaction is to learn something new.
We are most satisfied we’re most happy when we’re growing and learning
If you want to be happier, pick up a new skill, learn a new hobby, develop an understanding of something that you didn’t know before.
The consistent result will be your happiness and life satisfaction level rises!
We don’t all do this all the time because it’s not easy to learn new things!
It’s a challenge to try something new, you won’t be good at it immediately you’ll have to struggle and learn and develop.
It’s much easier to sit on your couch and watch the four episodes of something on Netflix.
But easy isn’t what you are after! Happiness is what you are after. Personal satisfaction, life satisfaction, is what you were after.
You will find greater happiness and greater life satisfaction by investing the time to learn something new grow build develop.
You will be happier, you will feel happy happier.
And it’s one of the most effective happily ever habits, to get your happily ever after.
If you want a little bit of help with this, of course, you can get my free Happily Ever Habits guide, which will walk you through developing a habit of learning every day how you can do it, step by step, to increase the likelihood that you’ll have success with that habit.
And most importantly. to do better and feel better!
Plus, good news! Reading this goes on the education side, so you can mark that down for today!