This post was found on the Time Management Ninja’s Blog. Hope you will find it helpful.
There is no such thing as a quick web search.
It starts innocently enough, when you need to look up just one thing.
Before you know it, you are 37 sites deep, and 45 minutes have been wasted on what was supposed to be a 30 second exercise.
How much of your day is spent endlessly surfing the web?
Surfing the Day Away
Technology is supposed to make life easier. It is supposed to save us time.
Yet, between email, web-surfing, and games, we fritter away much of our time.
A recent survey showed that Americans spend an average of 23 hours a week online.
What could you accomplish if you could reclaim even a portion of that time each week?
Probably quite a bit.
How to Reduce Your Web Time
We used to spend our spare time wasting away in front of the TV.
These days it is in front of the computer. Or on our phones or tablets.
An old adage stated, “No one ever became successful sitting on the couch watching TV.”
The same is true of the Internet. And endlessly surfing the web isn’t going to get your goals done. Nor is it going to magically make you successful. So, reduce your endless surfing and get more done.
Here are 5 Ways to Stop Wasting Time Surfing the Web:
- Unplug from the Internet – When you really need to get work done without interruptions… turn off the Internet. Literally unplug. Use “airplane mode” on your phone. Whatever it takes. If you need a more elegant solution, there are software apps that will let you block specific websites for a specified amount of time. (For example, it block news, Facebook, Twitter… yet still lets you do your work, research, etc.)
- Resist the Urge to Look It Up – These days, information is only a click or web search away. But, do you really need to know the answer to every bit of trivia that pops up in the course of your day. Resist the urge to immediately look everything up on Wikipedia. That one search could end up costing you hours of time.
- Set a Timer – If you must search the Internet, set a time limit on your web adventure. Better yet, set an actual timer. This puts a boundary on your surfing. Or at a minimum it will snap you out of your web-induced daze when it starts chiming.
- Delegate Where Appropriate – In corporate environments, the web makes it easy for you to do other people’s work. Are you looking up solutions to problems that others should be solving? Let the appropriate person research the problem and find an answer. I have witnessed executives waste days of times Googling answers to issues for which entire teams exist to work on.
- Save Articles for Later – When you are surfing the web it can be tempting to keep reading each related and linked article. A great technique to stop this is to save “other” articles for reading later. Use an app like Pocket to save those articles. This allows you to save important information while preventing you from endlessly reading now. Interestingly, you will often find that when go through your saved queue, that you clear out many articles without reading. In other words, upon later reflection they weren’t worth the time in the first place.
Stop the Endless Surfing
The Internet is a powerful tool. It allows us to instantly find information and solutions to many problems.
However, it can also be a big time waster.
One web search can lead down a path of hours of wasted time.
So, put down the mouse, smartphone, or tablet… and get some work done instead.