Friday, August 23, 2019

How to Easily Free Up Time for Twitch

You can't stream on Twitch if you have no free hours in the day. This point is pretty cut and dry, and is one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of would-be streamers who claim they simply can't dive into their passion right now. Luckily, in the earlier entry titled 'How to Find the Time to Stream on Twitch', I helped you to scale this deadly hurdle. In this entry we gazed into the future, to realize that we'll never 'have time' for anything new, establishing that if we don't start on our passions now, we'll spend the next fifty years putting off our dreams until they wither away. Clearly, if you haven't pulled the trigger on streaming yet, you'd better do whatever it takes to get started.

Despite this existentialist pep talk, some of you may still have a hard time carving out the hours from what looks like a busy schedule. So in this entry I will help you to very specifically identify what is sapping time and energy from your day. I personally have either cut down or completely cut out every single thing mentioned in this article. It wasn't easy, but after breaking free from these bad habits, you couldn't pay me to go back.

Whether you can't find any time to begin streaming at all, or you simply want to discover more time to work on the streams you've already been building, I can help you. The caveat is, you need to be willing to truly listen. Most people are only interested in building a skill until the point where it requires some kind of sacrifice, so before we start you'll need to ask yourself: "Am I willing to fully commit to my passion?"


There's a popular story that has circulated around forever, which I'm going to paraphrase and simplify here. If you've heard this one already, just bear with me.

Sand. So much sand.
A professor takes out an empty jar and shows his class. He pours a bunch of rocks into the jar and asks the class if the jar is full. They agree that, yes, it is full. He then starts pouring sand into the jar on top of the rocks, and the sand slides through the cracks between the rocks and starts filling all the empty space. How is it possible that the sand could fill an already-full jar? He tells the students that the rocks represent all the most important things in our lives, like family, friends, school, work, etc. But the sand represents everything unimportant that we do in the fringes of our lives: social media, television, and aimless internet browsing. If you fill your jar with sand first, you won't have space for any rocks, so you should always focus on what's important before all else.

I know, I know. Nice story, but how does it affect your Twitch streams? Here's the thing: when we want to start making time for Twitch we aren't filling an empty jar, like choosing stats on a character sheet at the beginning of an RPG. We start with a jar that's already been filled, because we've been living our entire lives up to this point. And because it's so easy to lose track of what's important, most of our jars have a solid base of sand at the bottom, underneath all the rocks. This means there could be room to add a rock or two for Twitch streaming, but first you have to start digging.


The initial step in this process is to cut one single time-wasting thing from your life. It's likely you regularly use at least one social media platform and end up losing yourself scrolling through all the status updates and pictures. Maybe you subscribe to a video streaming service and constantly embark on series binges or rewatch the same movies over and over again. Maybe you're prone to aimless internet wanderings, browsing your favorite list of websites for headlines to catch your interest.

It's overwhelming if you never take a step
back and reassess.
You'd be surprised how many minutes or hours your various technological vices take up each day when combined. Even if you can track the amount of time you spend using an app, this doesn't take into account the mental energy wasted because of the app. Getting into a Twitter argument can ruin your day long after you've closed your phone to wait for your opponent's reply, and constantly being enthralled to email or instant messages will wrench you from a state of concentration, to which you may have a hard time returning.

The following is a list of items that I have completely removed from my life, or otherwise cut back by 90%. Pick one of the following items (assuming you use it regularly), and remove it COMPLETELY from yours:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • YouTube
  • TV
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Internet Browsing
  • Instant Messaging
  • Checking Email at Home
If you can remove just one of these things from your days, you'll get a taste of what it's like to live just a little bit cleaner. I guarantee that after a month of being more clear-headed, you'll wonder why you ever engaged with that platform in the first place. I mentioned that some of these I didn't completely cut out, but I didn't start that way and I recommend you don't either. Instead, start with a complete removal. Log out of your Facebook and never log back in, delete the Twitter app from your phone, or cancel your Hulu subscription. Otherwise, you'll likely relapse.

It's critically important that you not announce that you're doing this. Don't write some long tirade about how toxic the platform has been or why you're leaving, just drop off the face of the earth. The people you care about will still be able to contact you without it. If you don't write a long goodbye post, you won't be tempted to check for replies afterward, or have others potentially drag you back in. Just quit and never give it another thought. Don't lose sight of your objective, after all: you want to carve out enough time to live your dream. Yes it's difficult to cut one of these platforms out of your life, but if the alternative is causing yourself to never reach your goals, this is a sacrifice worth making a thousand times over.


I feel like a totally improved person now that
I've cut so much fat from my day.
When I did this, I couldn't believe the results. Aside from checking Facebook in the morning, I figured I mostly checked it while bored at work. How would removing a habit I normally engage with at the office help me have more free time when I'm home? Remember the jar full of rocks and sand we talked about earlier? Once I cut Facebook out of my life, the contents of my jar started shifting. After digging out all the blue Facebook sand, other sand took its place, freeing up room at the top for the Twitch rock that I wanted to nestle into my schedule. Instead of Facebook, I'd check Instagram or Twitter at the office, and since I had now gotten most of my social media fill during the workday, there was much more time after work to spend doing whatever I wanted. A few key decisions like this allowed me to free up more time for Twitch than I ever thought possible.

If you truly commit to one of these decisions, I'm sure you'll notice the same freedom forming in your previously busy schedule as well. If you're like me, you'll wonder just how deep the rabbit hole goes. You might excise another, and then another bad habit from your life until you have more free time than you know what to do with. As you might imagine by my reading past entries, I chose to put this massive stack of newly freed hours into growing my Twitch channel. There's no reason you couldn't gain just as much time as I did, or even surpass me in your quest for digitally clean living. There's plenty of free time in your day already, you just need to redirect it toward something you actually care about.

No comments:

Post a Comment