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Mar
21

How not to waste time online

Computers are amazing efficient uses of space. Just think about it. I have a garage full of tools, that I rarely need, and an attic full of things I’ve only used once. But, all of my “junk” pales in comparison to the amount of things available to me on my computer. I can read books, browse merchandise from stores, paint a masterpiece — well maybe I can’t do that, but you get the idea. If you had a “real-world” equivalent of everything available to you on your computer, you would need a warehouse to store it all. No, a dozen warehouses.

It’s only natural then, that the internet can consume so much time. You can sit at your computer for hours, reading blogs, getting news updates, seeing what your friends are up to on Facebook. And, after you get up from your computer you might find yourself wondering “What did I do today?”

I try to make a mental schedule of sites I visit each day, so I don’t find myself in an endless loop of visiting websites until the day is over. You do have to get things done after all. Read your favorite blog while your drink your morning coffee. Save your Facebooking until the afternoon, when most people are least productive (probably counting the minutes until 5:00).

RescueTime Report Example

RescueTime
For those who need an extra push to be more productive, there are several software companies eager to help. RescueTime offers an automatic time management software that runs in the background of your computer, logging what you do. It can provide reports with nice charts of how you spend your time each day, helping you to identify sites that consume the most of your time, times of day where you could be more productive, etc.

This tool can also be very useful for business owners to manage time of their employees. You can set controls that will block certain sites, or limit the amount of hours allowed at those sites.

They offer a light version of their solo edition for free and a 14-day free trial for the pro version.
Computers, mobile phones, are tablets are amazing tools, but they can also be major distractions. Make sure your value your own time enough to use it wisely!

Remember, with great accessibility comes great responsibility.

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