Finding time for what matters most to you is a matter of setting priorities and then following through on your time choices. Sound simple? In a way it is. But, as with so many things, the details of implementation can be a challenge.
As an example of one of the thorniest challenges of our digital age, one Time Finder reader was recently commenting on the changes the internet has introduced to her life. She said that she has thoroughly enjoyed things like connecting with old, elementary school friends on Facebook and being in closer contact with far-flung family. However, she has also noticed that computer time has eaten into time she used to spend on other things, like working in her garden and spending time with her animals.
As she spoke about this, I could tell that she wasn’t entirely happy with the change. She thoroughly enjoys many of the ways that computers have enhanced her life, but is not always pleased with the time she spends on the computer or the trade-offs it sometimes seems to entail. Is this something that you can relate to?
It’s very easy to lose track of time when you are working on the computer, but you can change that and empower yourself to take charge of your time again. How?
Here are three quick tips to get you started:
* First, track the time that you actually spend on the computer. For a week or so, record the start and stop time, each time you get on the internet. DON’T judge what you see. If you are critical, you are much less likely to give yourself a clear picture of what you are doing. This is just a tool for giving yourself some baseline information. You need to know where you are, before you can know where you want to go!
* Next, brainstorm all of the things that you most value doing in your everyday life. I don’t mean a list of tasks so much as an enumeration of the things that are most meaningful to you. Imagine looking back on your life. Ask yourself what you would regret missing out on, or not doing, from that vantage point. These are the kinds of things to list.
* Finally, having this information about your computer time and about your values in hand, you are ready to make a much more informed decision about how much time you want to allot to your internet connections and explorations. Then get yourself an inexpensive timer. Set your timer for that amount of time, and make sure that you stop when you intended to. This will help you stay on track, as well as making you more aware of how much time you actually spend on the internet.
When you feel uneasy about your time choices, I invite you to listen to that wise voice inside, try these 3 tips, and see how much better you’ll feel about how you’re spending your time. Remember that you have the power!© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.