This is a sidebar cut from the original article. Stop Wasting Time Online! Tips and Start Pages To Improve Concentration Online. I discovered these sites while tracking my time online with RescueTime.
- Social Networks (Twitter /Facebook/Myspace) – Twitter fascinates me, and if I don’t watch it, I can easily click over and refresh 20+ times an hour to see what my friends are up to. The other social networks can be even larger drains. Not only can you get lost in the current updates, but as soon as I click through to someone’s profile I become curious and start reading their information, browsing pictures, etc. Sometimes when I catch myself aimlessly clicking around, I was myself why, in the long run, what good does it do me? To prevent wasting time on these sites I don’t allow myself to check them except during hourly breaks, and usually less frequently – unless my code is compiling =).
- News Sites (MSNBC/CNN/BBC) – In this age of 24/7 news, the major portals and news sites churn out dozens (if not hundreds) of news pieces a day online. There is no way we can keep up with all of it. I’ve limited my time to checking them at most once a day, unless there is a particular event that I am concerned about.
- RSS (Google Reader) – As I briefly mentioned in my article about quickly reading lots of articles with RSS, there is so much information out there now that we’ll quickly overwhelm ourselves if we don’t selectively block things out. I batch my RSS reading, but sometimes I just let it go, and hit the “mark all as read button.”
- Email (GMail) – Let’s rewind a few years. Back when I received a handful of emails a day, having my homepage set to open my email account was no problem. Most of the time I’d open my web browser and there would be nothing there. Slowly though, more people began contacting me via email, and I now receive hundreds of email a day. If I looked at every email that came into my inbox as soon as it arrived I would never get anything done!
As a side note, I watched an interesting discussion between Loic Le Meur and Tim Ferriss where I picked up a couple juicy tidbits:
- “For every email you send, you get 1.75 to 2 email in return.”
- “Your email box is a to-do list that somebody else decides.”
- Google/Wikipedia – Though I don’t know everything, I know enough to accomplish many of my daily tasks. Before I look items up on Google or Wikipedia, I now try to ask myself – Do I really care? Will that information help me right now? If the answer to any of these questions is no, I shelve it in “someday” reading, or throw it on my task list (e.g., “research x, y, z”).
- Silliness and Guilty Pleasures – icanhascheezburger, this means you*. I’m constantly hypnotized by Twistori too.
* I know the guy who started icanhascheezburger, and he’s pretty awesome.
If you haven’t already, you definitely want to check out the two articles that this is a sidebar to:
- Stop Wasting Time Online! Tips and Start Pages To Improve Concentration Online.
- Tracking my Productivity Online With RescueTime: Free Time Tracking Software
Looking to waste less time online? You may find some value out of using one of my custom start pages.