Let’s just cut to the chase. Many of us will admit we spend far too much time online. It’s a rare person these days who exists without technology. And we know how easier it has made, well, just about everything. But it is also addictive. It has made some of us into social lepers, being unable to communicate in words of more than one syllable, not being able to make a decision without asking an app for advice first. Ok – so that’s the extreme but if you’re conscious of spending too much time online and you want to cut down – without the need to just shut it all off – here are some ways.
1. Don't Just Browse for Browsing's Sake
One way to cut down time spent online is to avoid the common pattern of turning on the computer or laptop to just browse. Of course, you want to unwind after you come back from school or work, but don't just sit on your computer and start browsing aimlessly. Be sure to begin with purpose and understand that this habit is only a waste of time.
2. Don't Feel Bad about Not Reading All Your Emails
With the digital avalanche of blog posts, emails, and web content in front of you, it's fine if you cannot catch up with all. Remember, the important info will always rise to the top, so the best thing is to read what you can in a reasonable amount of time. Stop worrying about the rest; in fact, in today's 'spammy' digital world, that 'Delete' button is your best friend.
3. Learn to Set Time Limits
One of the simplest ways to cut down the time spent online is to set time limits the moment you turn on your computer. Move in a systematic way – try to set a frequency for leaving comments on blog posts, writing posts, reading blogs, and performing other tasks. Learn 'Time Boxing', a technique that involves allocating a fixed time to each planned activity. Learn to ignore your email, blog, or Twitter until those pre-set times. Just be sure to sort and prioritize what is of urgent nature and what is not.
4. Take Advantage of Technology to Beat Technology
Allocating time for different tasks you need to handle over the internet is a great idea. For this, you may consider using some parental control software that comes with a time control function. Similarly, you can download a mobile app to keep track of time you spend online – Chrome users can go for StayFocused and Firefox users can try Leechblock for better time management.
5. Avoid Reading Everything Word for Word
It has never been this important to build scanning and pattern recognition skill and that's mainly due to the amount of info available online. You will end up saving a lot of time you spend online if you can identify the info you need to read in full.
6. Turn off the WiFi
One of the biggest reasons why people spend a lot of time on the internet is that they can connect with utmost ease, all thanks to your WiFi connection. You will lose time when the project you're doing on your laptop doesn't require an internet access but you keep browsing aimlessly after short intervals. Be strong, overcome the temptation, and turn it off. This will improve your efficiency to a great extent.
7. Look for New Activities
Search actively for activities that would help you replace your internet procrastination habit. Instead of browsing aimlessly only to avoid feeling bored, you can consider reading a hardcover book, go on a walk, learn some new skills, and even call a friend (or girlfriend). This will definitely be one of the best ways to cut down time spent online.
No one is saying you HAVE to cut down time you spend online but it is something that can eat into so much of your precious time. Many people are in danger of becoming shoulda woulda couldas because instead of getting out in the world, connecting with people (in person) and generally enriching their lives, their noses are glued to a screen. Don’t live life through technology. Get out and live it for real.