The story behind Segro: The app for time usage insights from your calendar
My name is Justin Fransen. I am the founder of Segro. Segro is created for time usage insights, to find life balance and to unleash good habits. The app is related to the problems I had.
Segro solves the following issues:
- Balancing obsessive ambition
- Work life balance
- Progressive effort in long-term goals
In this article I describe the problems above. I explain every problem with my personal experience and the corresponding solution.
When you have to do something you don't want to, time seems to slow down. Seems familiar? And when you have to do something that you are very passionate about, time flies. That can be very fun or annoying. For reflection it is annoying.
When I was in Valencia I ran into a problem. There were a lot of nice things around me (nice people, nice weather, the beach, good food... I could go on and on). But, when I had mandatory work and that I didn't have much passion for, the time seemed to pass very slow. Where all the nice things flew by. My friends asked me how work was going. I said I was very busy! And I told them I have a lot of work again this week.
In the meantime I looked at my agenda where I kept track of all my hours. I added everything up and came to the conclusion: I had worked 30 hours in those oh-so-busy weeks. 30 hours! That's not much at all. Gut feelings were the center of my reflections. It was far from reality.
The solution is to track time and set goals.
By tracking time you can reflect on facts instead of gut feelings. It is good to listen to your feelings, but it is not of value to facts based insights. Tracking time is also crucial to determine if goals are achieved.
To set a goal: determine an amount of time you want to invest. Everyone has 168 hours a week. If you sleep 8 hours every day, you have 112 hours left. In those 112 hours, you perform conscious actions (you eat, you take a shower, you travel, you do your work, you go to the gym, you walk the dog, you have a drink with your friends, you go to the cinema, etc.).
You will find balance in your life if you divide the 112 hours that you are awake in the right proportions. Proportions that you are happy with. It's different for everyone, so there's no one-size-fits-all balance that works for everyone. But, there is a uniform way to work towards that. Set goals, record time and reflect. A loop that repeats itself. Segro makes this easier for you.
Balancing obsessive ambition
By nature I am very ambitious. I have always had the desire to help people in a bigger picture. To create products for large groups.
Unfortunately, I often feel limited in employment. I can't find enough variation and learning. I can't find satisfaction for a longer period of time. I know that my passion is in entrepreneurship. The feeling inside, the deep desire to create startups… I can't let it go. I find myself very unhappy if I can't make any entrepreneurial efforts.
That's great, of course, to be very ambitious. But it also has drawbacks. Pushing yourself to the limit can affect your private life, your health, and more. It has consequences on how you experience your life. Can you be content and grateful if you haven't achieved what you set your mind to? I couldn't before, now I can.
I have been through periods that have had a huge impact on my private life. I've pushed people away from me and neglected relationships. I started thinking and reflecting. What do I want to do different in the future?
I noticed this happens because I was just doing something without any plan. I wanted to work more, so I just did some more work. I wanted a little more fun, so I had a beer with my friends. But because of the pressure from my ambition, it was an emotional yoyo (you know, the 2 round discs and a string). I built walls around me, instead of building bridges. In short: I was completely out of balance.
The solution is to find balance. I decided to register time to get a sense of how I organise my life. I've started reflecting and setting goals. In my case, this turning point was in Valencia. I wanted to turn 30 hours into a at least 40 hours a week as soon as possible. See how simple that was? My first goal was clear: to work at least 40 hours a week.
It's easy. You can start today, and you will see results in a week. The first time I applied it, I had never enjoyed my free time so much! The satisfied feeling was wonderful.
My current goals are:
- Working 50 hours a week
- 10 hours a week to spend on self-reflection and education
- At least 20 hours a week of relaxation
- Read at least 1 book a month (not time related)
I don't recommend scheduling the full 112 hours. Life comes with unexpected events.
Working from home offers many possibilities. But when you work from home, there are also a lot of distractions. I'm someone who can resist a lot of distractions (eg I'm not a gamer, which is a common problem). But my problem was in finding the right balance. I had a permanent job, wanted to work on new startups and also wanted to spend time together with my girlfriend. I felt short of time and I wasn't enjoying anything because I always felt in a race against time.
I had no balance. I made decisions on how I spent my time based on feelings and emotion. I started to dislike everything because it was a race again the clock. Everything became a must that I couldn't ignore. For example: I didn't see the progression in my startups that I desired, which made me want to put in even more time. And at some point it feels like I had to choose between my partner or my ambition. A choice you don't want to make, and now a choice I don't have to make.
The solution is to know the right balance for yourself. This way, you can communicate clearly. You can create a correct pattern of expectations to others. An expectation pattern that matches your life balance. The key in this case is to be able to stick to your weekly goals and get satisfaction from achieving them. No more frustration and decisions based on emotional.
Progressive effort into long-term goals
Working 80 hours one week and 20 hours the next two weeks because you put in a lot of effort that week. That week when you worked 80 hours and threw everything overboard, you missed a lot of things. For example, you were doing well with sports, but that rhythm has now been completely broken. You run your life based on emotions, and you are out of balance. Now you can drag yourself back to the gym, with a lot of reluctance of course. You have broken the flow and you can start all over again. This way you will never achieve what you have in mind in the long term.
Creating the right balance is fundamental to achieving your long-term goals. You spend the right amount of time on your goals, and you repeat this. The results of your goals are also much more understandable. It is much easier to see when something has succeeded or not through continuous effort. Or do you think it's easier to unravel an emotional rollercoaster about the effort first? The equal use of time over a longer period is simply more effective in most cases.
For example, you want better results with sports. Suppose there are two options:
- You go 6 times a week for 2 weeks and then 0 times for 2 weeks.
- You go 3 times a week for 4 weeks.
Both options last 4 weeks. Which do you think is the most effective? Which option is better combined with the other activities in your life? Which is psychologically preferable? I'm no sports expert, but we can easily agree: the second way is the best approach for long-term progression.
There are 4 problems that made me create Segro. Reflection, balancing obsessive ambition, work/life balance and progressive effort into long-term goals.
Finding the right balance is key. Balance gives you access to determine your life from your ratio. Not by letting an emotional rollercoaster decide the direction of your life.
Starting is easy by applying 3 simple steps: set goals, record time and reflect. Segro ensures that this is simple via your agenda, and that you do not have to make manual analyses.