Monday, February 22, 2010

Time Management: Tips and hacks

I thought I'd follow up on some ideas from the Facebook post about how to stop myself from wasting time on the internet. Please let me know your ideas for not procrastinating, both online and in real life.

* I've started breaking my internet addiction through giving myself designated 'offline hours' and a dedicated half-hour in the evening where I can do guilt-free browsing and read anything I want. Also: no internet before 9 in the morning (which, it turns out, is quite hard for me to stick to)

* As part of this, I went on a one-week media fast - no news sites, or political sites, or newspapers/radio/TV. This felt great, and freed up an amazing amount of time.

* I built up some strong negative emotions
(like loathing, frustration, or boredom) towards particular websites - which motivated me to block them in my hosts file. This means I can't access these sites without manually unblocking them. Seems to be working - I don't miss them, and I think I *wanted* an excuse not to go back to them. (And unless Facebook makes some changes to its new homepage design - which has made the site way more irritating - it's another site that might be joining this group.)

* Decided to not follow or read
blog posts comments or discussions - this is tougher, but I've realised that I don't really process these conversations very well. They sort of swim in a haze through my eyes and brain and don't really sink into my long-term memory. A complete waste of my time, really, to look at them or check back in on them.

* I've re-categorised all my Google Reader feeds, allocating them to either 'Must Read' blogs, 'Skippable' blogs (where I can delete their posts if I'm running out of time). I also have a Probation' category now - where I put all the new blogs I'm subscribing to. I give them about a month in Probation and then decide whether to unsubscribe from them or not. Having a Probation category has also prompted me to delete several big blogs from my feed - most notably Aintitcool - which has significantly reduced the amount of infocrap I need to wade through.

Also a big shout-out to Billy from the previous Facebook post: he introduced me to the studyhacks site, which led me to this long but good talk by Merlin Mann about time and attention, and his recommendation of the 4 Hour Work Week was the tipping point into me getting the book out and having a read. Fascinating stuff.

What about you? What do you do?
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