4 simple techniques to reduce your internet time wasting by as much as 70%

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: productivity | Tags: , , , , , , |

We’ve all been there at one point or another. You’re moving along, knocking out your task list when you receive the message “FWD: FUNNY … YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS – LOL.” One funny video clip and two hours later you ask yourself, “Where did the time go?”

It is often very easy to lose track of time on the internet. Each website provides a wealth of information: articles you want to read but don’t need to read, articles you should read (but not necessarily now), links you should read providing even more information, comments, social bookmarking, and on it goes. It is easy to spend hours going through a website and following the links they provide. I will share with you some strategies I use that have decreased my internet surfing by at least 70%.

The “5” techniques are listed here. Read more details on each after the jump.

  1. Bookmarking is your greatest friend
  2. Create a schedule
  3. Use a timer
  4. Get help deciding what is worth reading while online

  1. “Bookmarking is your greatest friend:
    You don’t have to read every link you come across that interest you at this very moment. The internet has an unimaginable amount of interesting data and information that you couldn’t possibly address it all in one sitting. Use your bookmarks intelligently to categorize the links so you can refer back to similar items later. Social bookmarking site http://delicious.com can be used if you surf the net on computers at different locations as it gives you a website that you login to in order to access your bookmarks.
  2. Create a schedule:
    The schedule you create should not only itemize what times of the day you can surf the internet, but also what you should be doing while on the net during that allotted time. This is the time to utilize your bookmarking system. For instance, funny clips may be allotted to after hours or the weekend.
  3. Use a timer:
    This is a valuable little tool I have been using to keep tabs on how long I have been spending on the net – http://www.online-stopwatch.com/large-stopwatch/ . To use this tool you simply set a count down for, say 60 minutes and when the clock hits zero it will alert you. At that time you bookmark any pages you may still have open, then close your browser. If you are just finishing up reading a page, you can always extend the clock but I don’t recommend it – at least at first. The idea of allowing an extension is that you are making a conscious choice now to spend more time online as opposed to being oblivious to how much time is being spent.
  4. Get help deciding what is worth reading while online:
    The internet is filled with noise. Just like any other media, the aim is to get and keep your attention. Your goal should be focusing your attention so you can get the most out of your web surfing as possible. I suggest using RSS feeds for this purpose. Many websites will allow you to read their articles without actually having to visit their website by using RSS feeds they provide. You subscribe to the feeds of the websites you want to keep in touch with and you load them into your feed reader. I use Google Reader. Additionally, most feed readers also offer filtering functions which will allow you to decrease the number of articles you receive based on your criteria. This can save you more time by reducing the noise even further. Again, don’t forget to use your timer and bookmark unread items for later reading.

So there you have it. Hopefully using the above techniques will help you regain some of your precious time lost surfing the World Wide Web. Remember, just like a huge meal you can’t digest all the web has to offer in one sitting so pace yourself… and save some for later.


About the Author:

Kalim Fleet is a professional web designer and blogger with over 6 years experience. The web is his passion as he splits his time between blog writing, software development and social media. He loves using and developing new applications for the web, mobile, and desktop.

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