E16 - Attention to Screen Time: [The Convertibility Flaw]

How to reduce your screen time by ignoring it.

Hi everyone,

My name is Lemmy and this is my story of how I became The Attention Master.

In Episode 16, I want to make you aware of the biggest fallacy people make when it comes to screen time.

Here is what you are going to learn today:

  • Why screen time is irrelevant.

  • How marketers have sold you a lie.

  • Actionable tips to reduce your screen time.

This week’s community challenge

Check your app statistics at the end of the day.

- Lemmy, the Attention Master

It’s the end of a weekday. You managed to spend 4 hours on your phone while not investing one minute in learning, personal growth, or your side hustle. Again!

You think, "Damn, what could I have done with 4 extra hours? Or at least the 1 hour I spent on social media?"

You feel like a failure, a loser, and you beat yourself up about it.

And why? Because marketers are liars and they tell you that you could have done the most amazing things with that 1 extra hour.

They are liars because they tell you what you want to hear: That you can have more time.

The truth is, you can't. Here's why:

1. The time convertibility flaw

These marketers make you compare apples to oranges. They oversimplify things because the easier it is for you to understand, the more the message will resonate with you.

They tell you to look at your accumulated screen time or social media time and ask you: "What could you have been doing with all that time instead?”

Here's the flaw: You're not wasting that 1 hour in one chunk. You waste it in 20 x 3 minute sessions spread out over the day.

So why do all these companies tell you what to do with this time, but none of them actually help you do it? You guessed it right, because they can’t.

I mean seriously, what are you supposed to do with 20 x 3 minutes? Learn an instrument or a language? Come on, it takes me 2 minutes to even find my harmonica and the last thing I want to do in between some stressful back-to-back meetings is solve some Italian Duolingo exercises.

It's crazy to tell you that you can win back this "time confetti".

It's even crazier that you believe it. And a tragedy that you beat yourself up about it.

Let's get this straight:

  • You are comparing yourself to something that doesn't exist. What you are imagining is pure fiction.

  • 1 hour of "useless" screen time is a waste, but it can't just be added to the end of your day.

2. What to look at instead

Does that mean there is no hope for you? Absolutely not!

I just wanted to make this clear: Ignore your accumulated screen time, it doesn't tell you much.

That's because we do a thousand useful things with our phones. We use it for work, shopping, research, and messaging. Apps that we definitely don't want to live without, because without the phone and these useful apps, there wouldn’t be any time that can be wasted ;)

So instead of looking at screen time, you should look at other metrics. Here is what you want to know and where to find it:

  1. How much of my total screen time is actually wasted?
    → Check out the Most Used section. You can switch between individual apps and categories (such as "Social," "Entertainment," or "Information & Reading").

  2. Which apps are pulling me in?
    → Check out the Pickups section and look at the numbers for First Used After Pickup numbers.

  3. When am I most vulnerable?
    → Check out the Daily Timesheet for your most problematic apps. It will show you exactly when you used an app and for how long. This will show if you are struggling in the morning, at work, or in the evening.

Here is a quick tutorial video that walks you through Apple's Screen Time stats:

(Note: For Android, it's very similar and called Digital Wellbeing)

3. How to deal with time confetti?

Many of you will be saying: "Okay, I get it, so can I continue to constantly check social media and the news whenever I have a 2 minute break and don't know what to do with it?"

The answer is: Absolutely not!

You do this because the only thing worse than doing something "useless" (like social media) is doing nothing at all.

At least, that's what you're thinking right now. You think that doing nothing for 20 x 3 minutes a day will cost you 1 hour a day.

In fact, the opposite is true. If you use these tiny time confetti moments for mental breaks, you will

  1. Prevent context switching, the main reason you struggle to focus in the second half of the day and are brain-dead at night after work.

  2. Protect your sleep by allowing your brain to process things it would otherwise have to process at night.

Plot twist: Do less and you will achieve significantly more.

4. The Protocol to take ACTION:

  1. Reminder: Use an app like Lemio that triggers every time before you are about to access social media, dating, news or email apps. When the app triggers at the end of your day (e.g. in bed), use it as a reminder to review your screen time stats.

  2. Learn from them and make adjustments for the next day.

  3. The next day, when Lemio triggers, change your identity by telling yourself “I achieve more when I consume less”. Embrace short breaks in these moments.

  4. Amazing actions for 2 minute breaks: Stand up. Move. Open the window. Breathe. Drink water. Stretch. 1 pushup. Close your eyes. Look outside the window. Widen your view. Meditation. Daydreaming. Manifestation. Prayer. More ideas? Reply to this email!

This knowledge comes at 0 cost

If you learned something,
be generous and share it with friends or family.

See ya next week


  • Community Challenge: Check your app statistics at the end of the day.

  • You can’t convert time confetti into deep work blocks.

  • 20 x 3 minutes IS NOT the same as 1 hour.

  • The only thing you can use time confetti moments for: breaks.

  • These breaks and boredom in general are not your enemy, they are the enabler for even more success (productivity + energy + sleep).

  • A mental break = no consumption (no screens, no audio, no conversations). Just you and your thoughts.


We know that mastering your attention is extremely difficult. It's not going to happen in a day. That's why we've created Lemio, an app designed to be your personal buddy on the journey.

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