Can AI make us 30% happier? What you need to know about your time.

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As we grapple with a world increasingly dominated by screens, the post-pandemic landscape has seen a staggering 30% increase in our screen time, raising significant concerns for our mental and physical health. . Yet, in an interesting twist, futurists predict that by 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) could save 30% of our time on basic tasks. This prediction got me thinking inspired by a book by Dan Harris. 10% happier: Can AI help us combat the effects of our excessive screen exposure? The potential time savings point to a tantalizing prospect: AI could free us to focus on what really matters, from getting to work to enjoying moments with loved ones. But can AI really help us reclaim our time to increase our happiness?

Theoretically, yes, but practically, it is unlikely. If we don't watch this transition carefully, it can lead to a 30% decrease in our happiness. Here's why: In Sean Achor's book The benefit of happiness, he discusses our tendency to fall into the trap of saying, “I'll be happy when…” Even as we approach milestones for success and happiness, humans habitually view happiness as a cognitive horizon. Pushes on, always reaching the next holiday, the next holiday. Project, next day off.

The digital dilemma

This brings us to an important question: even if we produce 30% more time, what will we do with it? The danger is that AI enables us to work more efficiently, perpetuating a cycle of constant productivity rather than fostering true fulfillment. To avoid this we must critically examine where our time is going, who controls this liberated time, and what we really want from it.

Step 1: Know where your time is going now.

Understanding our current appropriation of time is the first step toward reclaiming it. Start by carefully tracking your daily activities. How much time do you spend on emails, meetings, or administrative tasks? Use digital tools or maintain a simple journal to document this data over a week. This self-awareness is crucial for identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement.

Step 2: Find places you can proactively save time.

With a clear picture of your time allocation, identify opportunities to save time. Can some tasks be automated or streamlined? Consider integrating AI-powered tools for repetitive tasks such as scheduling, data entry, or customer service inquiries. By actively seeking out these skills, you can reclaim valuable time each day, paving the way for more meaningful activities.

Step 3: Create a game plan for what you'll do with the extra time.

Saving time is just the beginning. Deciding to use it is equally important. Develop a comprehensive plan for your new time. Consider postponed projects, neglected hobbies, or activities that bring you joy. Whether it's pursuing a passion project, spending quality time with family, or simply relaxing, a clear plan ensures that your extra time is spent purposefully.

Step 4: Talk to key people at work or home about creating digital boundaries.

To protect your time, set clear digital boundaries. Engage in open dialogue with colleagues and family members about your goals and the importance of reducing unnecessary digital distractions. Set clear expectations regarding availability, response times, and designated screen-free periods. These boundaries promote a healthy balance between digital engagement and personal well-being.

Step 5: Create a plan to protect and nurture your new time

Finally, devise a strategy to protect and nurture your reclaimed time. This might include scheduling regular breaks, setting aside moments for introspection, or engaging in activities that renew your passion. Remember, the goal is not just to free up time but to enrich your life with it, to create a richer, more fulfilling existence.

Embracing the future

As we stand on the brink of a transformative era, the key to unlocking AI's potential lies in our deliberate actions and conscious choices. We must take control of our time before external forces dictate its use, ensuring that technology works for our good rather than harming it. While personal effort and awareness are an important aspect of effective time management, Ricka Dyke, CEO of Wellbeing Designers and Senior Advisor at Josh Bursin Company, points out that it's also important for employers to take an active role in protecting this 'new time'. Very important. Provided by AI. She explains, “The global epidemic of stress and burnout, often caused by unrealistic workloads, calls for a systemic change. Human rights leaders play a critical role in this change, within organizations. Act as a gatekeeper for sustainable human performance and well-being. “We must and reclaimed time should be invested in activities that enhance our well-being. This strategic shift not only supports employee health, but ultimately increases productivity as a natural consequence of improved well-being.”

Can AI Help Us Be 30 Percent Happier? As I wrote in my book. A happy future In 2017, technology doesn't make us more or less inherently happy. Rather, it's the way we're using technology that matters. Of course, AI has the power to create efficiency and free up time. What we do with this time moving forward is important.

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