Online time management is a challenge, isn’t it? How many times have you been focused on a project, only to have temptations like e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon tug at you.
Maintaining focus and staying in charge of your time is a top priority for most folks – and especially so for entrepreneurs and small business owners. So, here are 5 Timely Tips to help you stay on track when you are working online …
Online and On Track – 5 Timely Tips!
- Know where you are starting. It’s important to know the size and shape of your online challenge, before you attempt to address it. So, keep an online log for a week. Record the time you spend and where and how you are spending it. Be sure to NOT make judgments. If you come at this with a self-critical mindset, you won’t get all the information you need – so just record the facts. Once you have the facts, you can make informed online choices.
- Be specific about online time. Limit your time online to certain times of day, as much as possible. Schedule specific times for this and consider holding off on things like e-mail and Internet scans until after you have taken care of particular items on your To-Do List. You might also try shutting off your e-mail, instant messaging, and RSS feeds while you focus on your online tasks. Setting this boundary helps you stay on task.
- Write it down and let it go! Keep a running list of interesting links you find online. Promise yourself that you will set aside time for them later; this makes it easier to let them go NOW! And be sure to keep your promise to yourself. When you maintain clear boundaries, keeping online work and online play separate, BOTH are more meaningful.
- Keep your goal in mind when you do online searches. Don’t give in to the temptation to read the interesting links that your search uncovers. Return to your task as soon as you have the answer you need.
- Set clear time parameters for your task. It is very easy to lose time while you are online. On many calendar systems, you can set an alarm. Use this to set a stop time for yourself. If you are at home and resist switching gears, set an alarm in another room to get you out of your chair and away from the temptation. If at work, try scheduling searches right before a meeting or lunch with a colleague.
Remember, if time online is taking you away from other things you need to be doing, time management techniques can help. You have an exciting opportunity to look at your priorities and take charge of your choices. When you take more positive control of your online activity, you will not only be finding more focus … you will also be finding more time!© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.