Time management is a day-to-day challenge that offers great rewards when it comes to efficiency, effectiveness, and making the most of your available energy. When you spend time on a computer, the challenges are a little bit different than they are in the rest of your daily life.
Focus can be difficult to maintain, and time can easily get ‘lost’ when temptations like e-mail, Google, Wikipedia, Amazon … and literally hundreds of thousands of other sites are just a quick click away. So, I’d like to share 7 powerful and proven time tips that will help you maintain your focus and stay in charge of your time, even in the face of the most interesting internet distractions imaginable!
7 Tips to Keep You on Track and In Charge!
1. Know where you are starting – what’s your internet baseline? This is very important, as it helps you set realistic expectations for yourself. So I suggest that you keep an internet log for a week. Make no judgments. Just record the facts. Track how much time you actually spend on activities like checking the news, e-mails, and other things on the Internet. Use broad categories to start – you can always fine-tune this. You are just looking for the facts at this point. Once you have the facts, you can make informed choices.
2. Set aside specific times of day for your internet time. Use your baseline (above) to give you some ideas about optimal times to be on line. Often it is helpful to schedule e-mail and internet scans after you have accomplished other tasks that you need to get done. And if you have difficulty pulling yourself away from the internet, plan so your allotted time occurs before you leave for an appointment.
3. Enhance your focus on the task at hand by closing down any computer functions that might be distracting. Turn off your e-mail (or turn off the sound so you aren’t continually alerted about new messages). Do the same with your instant messaging and RSS feeds. Setting this boundary for yourself greatly enhances your ability to stay on task.
4. Keep your goal front and center when searching the net. Don’t give in to the temptation to read all the interesting links that your search uncovers. Return to your task as soon as you have the answer you need.
5. Keep a running list of interesting links you discover. Clip or bookmark those links using any of the excellent services available, like Evernote, Pinterest, Springpad, and others. Also, make an explicit promise to yourself, to set aside time to explore these links later. Knowing that you’ll come back makes it much easier to let go and refocus NOW!
6. Keep your promise to yourself! Make time to revisit those links. Maybe it can be a reward for completing a task, or a planned bit of ‘playtime.’ This is important, both as a way to reward yourself and to build trust in your follow-through. It has the added benefit of helping you keep work and play separate – a boundary that makes both more meaningful.
7. Don't get "Lost in (Cyber) Space! Set very clear time parameters for your tasks. To accomplish this I strongly advise you to begin the practice of using a timer. It is very easy to lose track of time while you are on the computer. So before you begin, set a stop time for yourself and, when that time arrives … stop! This can be challenging, and if you struggle with stopping (and it’s logistically feasible), you can try setting an alarm in another room. This will move you away from your computer (and away from the temptation).
The bottom line is that if time on the internet is taking you away from other things you need to be doing, your wisest course is to develop and implement solid time management techniques. When you take more positive control of your internet activity, you are not only finding more focus and productivity ... you are also finding more time!
So start improving your life today by exploring your internet baseline and then deciding how YOU want to take charge of that time.
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 so that they 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.