Reflecting and Improving Your Life Using Your Phone

As every end of year, people would usually do reflection of past 12 months of their life. After that, people would promise to do better the next year, better time management, less doing nothing, more doing something, less spending, more saving. The called it new year resolution. Did you do that in the end of last year?

If you did that, then great! Not all people did that. If you did that, then you must be care about your life and what did you do in your life. But don't you think that one-year time window is too long to do reflection and evaluation. And if you plan to do better stuffs in the next year, I am pretty sure that those will be huge improvements that require enormous efforts.

In my opinion, it would be more feasible to do reflection in smaller time window as it requires less efforts and we can get better in shorter time. Let's start reflecting to ourselves with smaller time window. Can you answer these questions?

  • How long in a day do you spend your time looking at your phone screen?
  • How long in a day do you spend your time looking at social media (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter etc. you name it)?
  • How long in a workday do you spend your time doing actual work (not gossiping with colleagues, not clicking and reading every Slack channel)?
  • In average, how many steps you make in a day?
  • How much time do you spend on doing sports in a week?
  • How much money you spend on food in a month?
  • How much money you spend on commuting in a month?
I am sure that most of us cannot really answer those questions. How will we improve our time we spend if we do not know the current condition? It is like a blind man want a better color for his car. By the way, you might get surprised knowing that average American spend more than 4 hours in a day looking at their phone screen. That means more than 1/6 of a day.

The process should be like this:
  • Knowing the current condition
  • Define what is good, what needs improvement
  • Set targets to retain the goods and improve the others
  • Guide yourself to reach the targets
  • Do the iteration quickly, daily or weekly are good
As everyday we touch our phone before even opening our eyes and we hold our phone(s) longer than we hold our love ones' hands, I believe our phone can make our lives better as well. I would like to share some Android applications that can help us to reflect and improve ourselves monthly, weekly, and daily.

Knowing How You Spend Your Money

By knowing how you spend your money, you will know what really drains you wallet.

Money Manager Expense & Budget

I use this app everyday to track my expenses. I was really surprised that this, this, and this things cost a lot in one months.

Money Lover: Budget Planner, Expense Tracker (Beta)

Similar functionality, used by some of my friends. This also good application for tracking your expenses.

Knowing How You Spend Your Time on Your Phone

You will be surprised on how long do you spend on your phone.

App Usage - Manage/Track Usage (Beta)

I use this app everyday and I was really really surprised that I use a lot of my time scrolling through Instagram in a day.

QualityTime - My Digital Diet

I was using this app, it was great app but I do not really like the UI and UX.

Build Your Habit

Loop - Habit Tracker (Beta)

This application can help you monitor your attempts to create new habits.

Habitica: Gamify Your Tasks (Beta)

This is similar app, recommended by a friend.

Focus on Your Tasks and Reduce Phone Screen Time

Forest: Stay focused

This app helps you to do Pomodoro technique with some gamifications.

Stay Focused - App Block (Beta)

This app helps you to limit your time spent on particular applications. I limit my Instagram usage using this app.


Bonus for developers/software engineers:

Know your coding habit using Wakatime

Wakatime can integrate with various IDEs, text editors, even terminals. It can detect your coding activity on various projects. It can help you to reflect about your coding activity.

Let me know your way to improve your lives in the comment section.


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