I find that my online time is often unstructured and extremely unexciting going through the same routine refreshing pages on social media sites and generally waiting for things to happen. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Why have a structured surfing schedule?
You have a truckload of goals, personal goals, professional goals, social goals and whole host of other goals I haven’t thought of. All the information you need is out there on the web. l haven’t seen it out there but I have faith that for pretty much any problem you encounter some helpful soul has posted a solution. The only reason you still haven’t found your solution? You haven’t been looking. In life we thrive on routine, achieving goals require chains of complex unrelated non-routine activities which quite frankly leave us all feeling uneasy.
Ok Ok so I need a web surfing schedule now what?
- Go grab a pen and paper and write down the areas in which you have goals.
- In most cases you are probably visiting a site on this topic already use Google to find similar sites buy using the “related” command in order to use it, just type related:<website> in the Google search box and it will give you a list of sites similar to the one you’ve selected. This is also a great tool to check out who your competition is if you have a website or blog.
- Now schedule some time weekly to go web site scraping, no not the bad kind of scraping where you steal info. Go forth and scrape the sides and corner of the web looking for content.
- Set a time limit on your social networking. Sites like twitter are very useful as they don’t require a huge investment of time however some other site can cause users to fall into the trap of sitting waiting for content. It’s the social networking equivalent of 500 tv stations and nothing to watch, so you end up app surfing bad plan. Approach your social networking with a plan. If everyone you know is online spend time catching up. if no one is online maybe send some personal messages to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send the boss the link to an interesting site you visited. Send a proffessional message to a client reminding them you’re still alive and care about your relationship with them. Social media/networking can add a great deal of value to your life and business. Use it don’t let it use you.
- Move work that doesn’t need to be done online offline. I’ve often popped online to update a post or write an e-mail only to end up being swept away down a river of unneccesary information by a single errant click. I find typing my e-mails and blog posts offline I can reduce the risk of being distracted by the bright shiny lights of the internet.
- Do the most important things first. Start your schedule with items that have fixed times to them like writing a post or checking your web analytics. Leave more open ended tasks like checking your Rss feeds, researching a post or social networking for last. This way you know that the important things are done which will quieten your mind considerably and you won’t feel the time pressure to complete these tasks so you can move on to what you know must be done.
- Share site you find with your network and encourage other to do the same. The web is huge don’t re-invent the wheel involve your contacts and find out what they’re tracking that you’re not it’ll save you heaps of time. Perhaps use your social media sites to pose the question, or start a group or a Lens asking the question “what site do you spend the majority of your time on” the sky is the limit.
I hope you find this list to be useful I believe if you can find more structure in the way you approach your time on the net you’ll soon start finding the web your best ally in achieving your goals rather than a distraction from it.
I recently started using Evernote, see my Evernote Review. I have found this tool indispensible for capturing bits of text or even whole pages from sites I’d like to keep as reference. I highly recommend using Evernote to keep track of your reading material and even of your time online. Evernote’s biggest advantage is that everything is stored online so you can access your notes from virtually anywhere.
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I find that every week, every day, every hour I have less time, less minutes at my disposal. More and more I find that somewhere during all work and play I’ve lost sight of what is important. Where is the meaning in our lives. When did we stop trying to live meaningfully in the time alloted to us.
I put it to you that the meaning in our lives does not live in the big things the huge projects or enormous undertakings. Rather the meaning is standing in plain sight in all the minutes between this one and the last one you’ll ever see. Tomorrow is nothing, next year even less. Meaning is realizing that we can have 60 memorable moments or one average hour. Meaning is time well used. Meaning is the conversion of time to goals successfully completed, to dreams realized, to relationships cemented. Time spent meaningfully not squandered.
When I find the world is taking from my enjoyment of the universe I fall back on some of these great ways to forget about the lonely hours and scary years and take pleasure in those silly minutes we allow to slip by so recklessly.
Take some time and breath
Take 60 seconds and concentrate on your breathing- Besides the spiritual well being breathing correctly brings, physiologically it’s a great tonic too. As we become more stressed our breathing becomes more and more shallow, hunching our shoulders and limiting the amount of oxygen available to our bodies. You’d think your body knows how to breath properly, and yeah it does but with the the sedentary lifestyle we currently all live we become so accustomed to our stressed state our bodies adapt that as a norm. Want to know how bad it is let’s take a deep breath now forcing as much air into your lungs feeling your chest expand and your diphragm pushed down. Feel how unnatural that feels? That’s the way you’re meant to be breathing. That’s the state every second should find you in. Lungs full, head clear and ready to react. If you can concentrate on breathing correctly for just one minute you’ll immediately find yourself more centred and able enjoy yourself.
Take some time to Rock out!!
Get your favourite song out and play it. Listen to it and don’t do anything else just enjoy all the reasons it’s your favourite take some time and remember those. Maybe it reminds you of your first kiss or that summer that went on forever or perhaps it just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Whatever the reason you’ll find that when you connect with those feelings you make them real again and each time we play that song as background music we kill some of the meaning. If you’re not a music person dig out that painting that makes you want to weep. That poem that makes you laugh or that garfield cartoon you haven’t read in ages and let yourself remember what it felt like the first time you did that. Ok so this one would take a bit longer than 60 seconds sue me!
Rate your coffee
Go now grab a cup of coffee. Start drinking it and try describing it as if you were reviewing it. Are the tastes bold and earthy or bland and lifeless. Be as descriptive as you can don’t use the word nice for goodness sakes. Let your imagination run wild and grab some words from the musty recesses of your mind that you haven’t used in a while and dust them off and shine them up today we’re taking them to town. You can use this for any of thing you currently take for granted even some of those things you currently find distasteful. How about a play by play on the drive home or a review of the last excuse you gave your boss for that late report. The important thing is to take the time to look at something differently. Explaing the mundane moments an you may find that those moments become progressively less mundane.
There are many other ways to kickstart your if this post teaches you anything let it be that your time is as valuable as you make it. If we spend our time waiting for the next hour, day, week or year we lose out on all the things we have the power to do right now. Truly our minds are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal and if we use them we’ll find more and more ways to make our time count.
So how does this fit in with the idea of monetizing our lives? All of the minutes of our lives have value. One cent is only one cent but think of this $100, $1000 or even a $1m dollars is nothing but a collection of cents. When we play fast and loose with those little coins we stop our chances of becoming truly rich. Find more ways to get the most out of those minutes of your life and you’ll soon find that the hours, days and weeks will see to themselves and your life will become progressively richer.
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The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow. ~Author Unknown
I am, have been and will probably continue to be to some extent a procrastinator for the rest of my life. I have improved a lot but I’d be the first to admit that when my will is tested, where procrastination is concerned, my body is often found wanting. What does this mean though in the grand scheme of things? Well for me when I find myself procrastinating that realisation is itself a reminder that my mind is constantly keeping track of the work to be done in it’s own haphazard way. Thankfully, my mind has not give up on me just yet, and still lives in quiet hope that I’ll change my procrastinating ways.
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