During a conversation with a co-worker, I noticed her looking quizzically over my shoulder at my computer screen: “Is that so you don’t look at the time?” She was referring to the tiny, square, pink post-it note that lived on the bottom right corner of my desktop screen. And, yes, it was there so that I couldn’t see the time.
Naturally, I have since used my Google-Fu to figure out how to simply remove the clock from the task bar…
But that first pink post-it was an experiment.
I don’t know about you, but I sit in front of computers a lot. At work, I’m in front of a screen most of the day, and when I come home I usually spend some (or a lot) more time in front of my laptop screen. After years of this behavior it finally dawned on me that I was constantly aware of what time it was, even when I wasn’t aware that I was looking at any clock. So I grabbed a post-it pad and my scissors, cut that little pink square, and covered that clock on the screen.
It made a huge difference. Even with multiple other clocks in the room, when I stopped subconsciously checking the time on my screen, I started making the conscious decision to look up at a different clock, or pick up my phone to check the hour. This may seem inconsequential but it’s meant that time goes by more naturally instead of seeming to drag on minute by minute. It’s also helped improve my focus since, when I’m not thinking about the amount of time I’m spending on a project, or how many seconds I have left until that fun thing I’m doing later, my mind is clearer for the task at hand. Perhaps best of all, it has helped me manage those nagging worries that I won’t have enough time to get everything done. For some reason, watching the minute hand inch toward a deadline doesn’t help me get the work done faster, but it does make me more anxious; who would have guessed?
If you think you may be an obsessive, subconscious clock-checker, I highly recommend you conduct your own experiment.
- Here’s how to remove your clock on Windows 7 and 8.
- Here’s how to remove your clock on Macs.
- You can also try playing around with other clock configurations! If simply removing the clock from your screen doesn’t quite to the trick for you, try positioning other clocks in the room behind you, or anywhere that makes it harder to quickly glance at them without thinking.
What useful time hacks have you picked up to help you navigate your day? Be sure to share so that we may all experience the joys of successful time hacking! (Also, does anyone else think that “time hack” sounds time lord-esque and will now be referring to themselves as a time hacker?)