One thing that occurs to me whenever I go home to the quiet edge of the New Forest, other than the fact that my Mr Men duvet cover is no longer very cool is the contentment of country folk who have time on their hands. These stress-free individuals you see going about their everyday lives are a refreshing leap from the hustle and bustle of the London lifestyle.

A phrase which is too often spoken between colleagues and friends is that favourite yearning ‘if only I had the time…’. It seems to be a common problem portrayed of the young working professional who struggles to strike an equal work-life balance; eager to hold onto at least one of those many hobbies they had as a child. We juggle meeting up with friends, keeping in shape and making it into work for 9 o’clock, where we find ourselves glazed over, fighting to hide that facial expression which so clearly says ‘I was out late last night’.


Now I’m afraid I’m not about to roll out a 5 point plan of how to find more hours in the day, or dazzle you with any particularly revolutionary information, in fact you may deem reading this as a total waste of your time. But instead share a thought I had after a set of photos was shared with me which highlights a very common theme in how we seem to be increasingly spending our time.



I’m not someone who is often wowed by numbers and figures, but a quick Google search on mobile phone use did make it clear to me that whilst we try to find more hours in the day we certainly know how to waste them. We spend approximately 90 minutes every day on our mobile phone (not bad in 24 hours), but it adds up. This amounts to 23 days a year and 4 years in our lifetime, spent staring blankly at our mobile phone screens. And this is just an average, taking into account people like my Grandma who finds the concept that there are now more than 4 channels on the television a little overwhelming.


To make this a little easier to digest I thought I’d take a look at the sort of things (although somewhat extreme) that can be achieved during this period of time. These include the time taken to build Tokyo’s Skytree (the world’s tallest tower), Deliveroo’s Will Shu to go from making home deliveries on his scooter to operating in 84 cities across the globe and Queen to rise from playing in a Surrey college venue to sellout crowds with a UK number one for 9 straight weeks.


Now I’m not saying that by cutting down the 85 checks a day of our mobile phone that we’ll suddenly find ourselves designing the next Sydney Opera House or rivalling the success of Richard Branson. And the truth is life as a 20 somewhat in London is hard, the luxury of the slower paced life of the countryside that we envy so much is not a reality we have. But it is definitely something to consider the next time you find yourself running for the 388 bus, late for that morning meeting, still in last night’s shirt about to text your friend to let them know you won’t be making 5-a-side that evening. Just have a think about how much time is wasted perfecting our Instagram filter to try and reach that 987th follower. And hey – you might even find yourself a little happier for it.




Tom Hetherington




All photos in this piece are shot and credited to  © Eric Pickersgill / Removed which can be found here