The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can also suck valuable time from your schedule and productivity levels. Are you guilty of wasting time with these top five time-wasters? If so, here’s how to fix them.
1. Deal Searching
I love getting a great deal. Getting 50-75% off of clothing, toiletries, and more helps my family save thousands each month. However, with all of the deal sites available to look at, these helpful resources can quickly turn into time and money wasters.
I try to only look at deal sites if I am in the market for something so that I will not be tempted. If I am always looking at Groupon deals or Totally Target’s deals, then I will feel the urge to spend. Also, 15 minutes can pass without you even realizing it.
I also will look at SlickDeals main page once a day, not allowing myself to search or spend more than five minutes looking at deals. This allows me to catch great deals on groceries and toiletries with very little time spent.
Right before I wrote this post, I scanned the front page and was able to buy oatmeal packets for less than $.20 a pack and organic baby wipes for less than $.02 per wipe through Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program. Other couponers find better deals, but I only invest a few minutes each day and still save.
2. Junk Email
Junk email and unwanted notifications and email pitches will not only suck up our time, but they will slow our productivity down. Be intentional about dealing with excess email. Unsubscribe to all newsletters and sites, and instead, read your favorite blogs with an RSS feed.
Designate a small chunk of time every few hours to check your email. Once you open it, deal with it. The email should be answered, archived, forwarded to someone who can better answer it, or deleted. If you receive a lot of emails that require more thoughtful answers, create a folder called “To Answer,” and transfer emails that need more of your time there. Then set a designated time each week to answer them.
3. Social Media
I love social media as much as the next person. Social media is beneficial, but it also keeps you from getting the most important things done. At the end of your life, you don’t want to realize that you missed amazing opportunities because you were too busy liking food pictures on Instagram.
With social media, you have to schedule it. Designate 30 minutes a day for it, and then keep it off until the next day. Yes, you might miss out on some stuff online, but you will gain so much more benefits in real time. Remember to turn off your notifications too.
4. Wasting Time on Pointless Podcasts or Youtube Videos
There are so many helpful podcasts and Youtube videos available, and they can really help shape you and your business successfully. However, there are also a lot of videos and podcasts that only have the value of wasting time.
I would divide your videos and podcasts into two sections, one for learning and the other for entertainment. There is nothing wrong with consuming media for entertainment value. The problem is when we allow media consumption to steal our precious time from us.
5. Online Games
I have a few family members that complain they are always busy, yet they spend an hour, if not more, each day playing online games. I get it. Games are fun and addicting, and they are an easy way to escape real life, but how are they benefiting you?
When I was in middle school/high school, I was addicted to the Sims game. Back then I played the game on a sweet, purple Gamecube. I would spend hours decorating my Sim house, teaching my Sim character skills, and managing all the Sim characters within the family. One day it just hit me. I spent all of this time on the game, but it did not change my life for the better. As soon as I turned off the game for the night, I had nothing to show for my time.
When I play games, I get obsessive and I do not use my time wisely. Because of this, I cut online/computer/iPhone games out of my life entirely. The only games I play now are actual board games with real-live people. And guess what. I do not miss playing games one bit, since I have been able to accomplish so many more soul-satisfying things, such as making memories with my family and writing children’s books.
None of these things are bad, but they are also not the best use of your time. If you are serious about reaching your goals and devoting more time to things that matter to you, then you need to stop wasting time on the internet.
How do you manage your time on the internet/smart devices? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below. I would love to hear your ideas.