In today’s connected world we have access to everything we want and need at our fingertips. We can access this information through our laptops, smart tablets, and even our mobile devices. Because of how available this information is, it’s incredibly easy to get wrapped up in Facebook, e-mail, Google, YouTube, and more.
Often times at the end of the day we will wonder where the time went. We will look at what we have completed during the day and wonder why we did not accomplish as much as we would like. We get the feeling that the days keep getting shorter and the workload keeps increasing. However, we all know this is just an excuse. So we ask ourselves, “Are we spending our time wisely in order to accomplish our personal and professional goals?” Oftentimes, that answer is no.
The world we live in is full of distractions. And having technology available at our fingertips is the ultimate distraction that keeps us from managing our time properly. We sit at our computers and correspond through our mobile devices more and more each day. And we still wonder why at the end of the day we have not accomplished all of the goals and items on our task list.
So, how do we effectively use technology? And what can we do to avoid having it monopolize our time? Are we in control of our time or are we letting the technology control us?
Each of us determines how we control our activities and how we utilize our time. We must be proactive in the use of technology, for business and for pleasure, in order to achieve results in our personal and professional lives.
Oddly enough, today’s technology can actually help with time management. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest time wasters and determine how we can be proactive in our use of technology to manage these tasks in a timely and productive manner.
Resisting Pop-Up Ads, Paid Search Ads and More While On Your Laptop
A common challenge we face is sitting down to accomplish a task on our computer only to be distracted by pop-up ads, links, and other disturbances that take us away from the work at hand. Hours later we will find that these disruptions have taken us off course and we have not accomplished anything on our to-do lists. Many times, the distractions have even added additional items to this ever growing list.
We can overcome these distractions by being focused on our goals when we are online. We can think of online time as a meeting with an agenda. This meeting has a goal and cannot end until that goal is accomplished.
How long will this task take? How will I know when I have achieved my goal? Ask yourself these questions before you start your online session.
Today there are many different applications that can help you manage your time on the Internet. However, it all comes down to discipline. Block time out for Facebook, YouTube, and other Internet sites and activities that can rob you of your time and keep you from reaching your goals. A clear, focused agenda to accomplish a task can keep you from the many distractions that are prevalent on the World Wide Web.
Email is a must in both our personal and professional lives. However, it can get a little overwhelming. As we attempt to complete core tasks throughout the day our time slowly gets sucked away reading and responding to various emails that are overloading our inbox. We are tethered to our inboxes now more so than ever because our mobile devices give us the ability to access our inboxes anywhere. We feel compelled to read and answer these emails immediately.
A common way to manage this email overload is to designate time on your calendar for no email activity. This means no reading or sending emails during a certain timeframe. Managing your email time allows you to redirect your thinking back to your to do list. This is an especially good time to focus on the tasks that require more time and deeper thinking, since you will be better able to accomplish them with less distractions.
Filtering emails is another function that can be used to manage your time and your inbox. Creating additional folders for emails that are a priority is a great way to manage your most important emails effectively.
Managing Your Time With Your Smartphone
Smartphones today are a necessity. They help us stay connected in various ways. However, they can also rob us of our time if we are not careful. Similar to our computers, we need to manage our time wisely when using a mobile device. We have to have certain times of the day when we are “off”.
Today, cell phones have multiple options when it comes to alerting us when we receive calls, emails, tweets, and text messages. Therefore, we need to manage these notifications to ensure they do not become a distraction while we try to accomplish our important tasks and goals. Remember, it’s okay to turn your phone off in order to concentrate on important tasks, when talking to others, or during meetings.
A good takeaway from this blog post is that we need to know how to manage our time and technology in order to achieve our short and long term goals. Ultimately, the biggest lesson is knowing how to manage our technology while we are embracing other, more important things in life.
Although technology is a tool we use daily and is a necessity in the world we live in, we must allow time away from the technology and distractions to engage our whole brains in other activities. Only then can we be successful.