If you’ve been subscribed to the blog, and have been keeping up with some of the more recent post, you may have noticed that I have been writing a lot about productivity tips and time management techniques. Inspired a little bit by Jay Willingham’s recent post on CampusByte about his “internet fast” so to speak, I decided to track where my time on the internet was actually going. I didn’t really have any scientific methodology behind my experiment; I just made a chart with some of my most common surfing habits, and put a tick next to it each time I did it.
I knew that checking facebook would be pretty high up on the list, but I didn’t realize that I check my email more than I check facebook. So I decided to go a little further and try to figure out exactly how much time I was wasting by checking email. I recorded the time I spent checking my email and it came out to around 12 minutes for every time I checked my email during the day on average. That means I was wasting close to 3 hours a day checking emails.
I went and further broke it down and realized the problem was at its worst when I checked in the morning right after I woke up and right before I went to bed. On average I would spend 20-25 minutes checking email, and if it was before I went to bed I would spend anywhere from 30-45 minutes in some cases just reading through old emails. There lies the problem, when I used to wake up I would instantly start wasting time on the internet, and I would stay up close to an hour later just checking email. So I took it upon myself to rectify this problem.
I started slowly cutting out how many times a day I checked my email, now I’m down to around 5 times a day, spending on average about an hour a day checking my email. I think that having 2 more hours in my day to be productive is an awesome feeling. I have also stopped checking my email before I go to bed and right after I wake up. I noticed that those two points were the biggest time wasters in my day, so I worked to cut those out of my day.
I put myself on a technology blackout about 30 minutes before I go to sleep. I try to read a book that is completely unrelated to school, and one that I have always wanted to read, for about half an hour or so before I hit the sack. I think that this one change in my pre-sleep routine has made my sleep more fulfilling and comfortable. Also right after I wake up I jump straight into the shower, change, and get to school. I check my email’s in the little time I have before I have to get to class.
I’m not as hard core as Jay is, but my next goal is to cut down my facebook and twitter time. I don’t think that I could do a seven day fast, but I do think that I can minimize the time I waste on the internet. Also as a side note you will notice that youtube isn’t present on that list of activities, and it’s because I often don’t have time to go and watch these clips, I have a list of clips I need to see saved in my inbox, but still haven’t made the time yet.
Share your favorite time management tips in the comments below?