Time management tips take on new importance when technology enters the scene. The challenge becomes one of finding time to take advantage of all the fresh opportunities available while not letting the 'shiny new object' detract from your life off-line.
The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, based at the University of Southern California, did a study back in 2009 that did an excellent job of articulating the growing problem, pointing out that 28 percent of Americans it interviewed for the study said that they had been spending less time with members of their households. That's nearly triple the 11 percent who said that two years before. And if you've observed the changes in your life (and those of your friends and family), you know that this is a statistic that has very probably grown exponentially since then!
Fortunately, there is nothing that says that we must perpetuate this imbalance in our lives. In fact, you have the power, any time you want, to tune into what works best for you personally and create your own uniquely balanced approach to your on-line life. Your important relationships can flourish while you cut down on unnecessary digital distractions and optimize your on-line productivity.
Where Are You Starting?
It's best to begin by knowing your starting point. How much time do you spend on-line? How and where do you spend it? And how do you feel after you've been on the computer?
These are important questions to ask. Taking this a step further, I suggest that you pick up pen and paper, and roughly track the amount of time you spend with family members and friends. Jotting a daily estimate every evening for a month into a small notebook is all that's necessary.
As you review this concrete information, reflect on the following questions:
1. Is the time spent off-line increasing or decreasing?
2. How do you feel about that?
3. How would your current patterns serve you if you were suddenly faced with a crisis?
4. How challenging or easy is it for you to develop and maintain effective time boundaries?
Your time is absolute, concrete, and limited – this is key to remember.
Would you like to give more time to your favorite pastimes? In fact, what are your favorite pastimes? Step back and think of your 3 happiest moments over the past week, and then ask yourself where you can find the extra time to have more such moments.
So, yes, your time is absolute, concrete, and limited, but consider this: For each minute you trim from surfing the Internet you give yourself opportunities to spend time in other ways.
When you feel that you are spending more time in your virtual world than is rewarding to you, you can stop, step back, and make some conscious choices.
Here are 3 Time Boundary Tips to try on for size:
• Have clear goals and parameters for your on-line time. And before you log off for the day, check your activities against your goals by reviewing the sites you visited. Did you follow through on your objectives?
• Use a timer to give yourself a stopping point. If you have a hard time stopping, even with a timer, try putting it in a different room!
• Plan together time with family or friends – or quiet time with yourself. And make sure it's in a specific time slot and is in everyone's schedule.
Creating intentionality and supporting this with clear time boundaries is very empowering. The more you make conscious and considered choices, the more likely they are to be in sync with your priorities.
More and more, you'll be making time choices that deeply enrich your day in ways that you value from your perspective! Your life is simply too good to waste.
And to move toward your Heart-Based Time Success, sign up for our free gift, the Finding Time Success Kit, which includes "The New Finding Time Boundary Template: 9 Simple, Sequential Steps to Find More Time and Recharge Your Energy!" Using a workbook format this powerful and practical time template helps you progress beyond disappointment and frustration. Discover that 24 hours really are enough!
Offered by Paula Eder, Ph.D., The Time Finder Expert.
Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who specializes in mentoring heart-based entrepreneurs and small business owners, from the inside out, to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors to make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
You can learn more about Paula’s unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System and begin your transformational journey by signing up for her Finding Time Success Kit. Follow your heart-based path to finding time for what matters most.