How much time do you spend daily on chatting or equivalents?
By that I mean social networks like Facebook, talking to friends on messengers. Social networks and other online communities like forums (eg. www.twoplustwo.com) have become very popular in the internet age. People spend more and more time on them and the market keeps increasing rapidly. Anyways, now it’s time to get honest:
How much time do you WASTE on them per day?
The definition of the term waste is to be considered carefully. Whatever is waste and what not is up to each individual. Some people think that doing sports 5 hours a day is waste of time. Others think that being on the computer more than 15 minutes is a waste of time. It all depends where we come from and where we want to go.
So what is waste?
There are people who would argue that playing a computer game is wasting time. I disagree, although I do not like computer games at all. If you genuinely enjoy playing computer games it would be the equivalent of me practicing/playing piano for a couple of hours. And that, believe me, I do not consider a waste of time at all! Playing computer and playing piano serve two different goals though. And no matter if I or anybody else thinks one is superior to the other, the discussion would not be about complete waste. No, with WASTE, I mean that you consider it waste and that you would have rather done something else, but out of pure laziness, boredom or any other reason, chose to act differently.
Wasting time to me means spending time on something that I have found out later was not for any short term amusement or entertainment, nor did it serve any of my longterm goals
Today I don´t want to attack the way anybody lives. To give an analogy, I´m not trying to make a flower grow beautiful blossoms. It’s more like asking you to take a look if there is any waste/garbage lying around that you can get rid of pretty easily and quickly. Or this little pile of junk can turn into a big pile of junk.
Typical ways of wasting time:
I assume you could read a cool book. Exercise outside. Meet up with friends. Pick up a girl. Travel somewhere. Study for university. Read a blog (that’s never bad, if you read the right one 8) ).
Enough talking around. Let’s get practical. I´m sure, at this point you at least have a vague idea about how much time you are wasting. Let’s give the devil some names. And after that, some medicine.
1) Social networks
I am sure you can spend less time on them. It’s cool to keep up with friends. And if you move a lot and often have to leave some cool and loveable folks behind, you appreciate Facebook. Easy way to see if you´re near each other to meet again or just to stay in touch.
One thing that I will probably never understand though is how people post what they ate for breakfast. Or that they´re going shopping. Funnily enough, some cool people even created a site to show when somebody is not at home. If I remember correctly that site was banned. But that was some cool shit right there. Don´t have the link though ;( .
I fail to realize how this could be interesting for anybody. For the same reason, the whole idea of Twitter is mind boggling to me. Through starting this blog I´ve educated myself with some material and Twitter is probably a great tool to get readers (from a business point of view), but I do not see the great value it provides if not for business purposes. Maybe I´m not hip enough.
—-> Stop telling everybody what you eat and what you´ll do the next 5 minutes.
—-> Stop reading useless stuff like that and “hide” people who do post stuff like this.
—-> Use Facebook etc. to keep in touch with people, but not to talk to them.
I have people on “hide” that I really love and I felt a bit like a dick in the beginning, but I don´t have this feeling at all anymore. They should feel bad for spamming. Yes, it’s spaming and annoying. And wasting time.
Concentrate on networks that are as little as possible. Most countries have their own social network, while Facebook is the American version, but also the “international” one. My advice is to keep facebook and ONLY facebook. Your friends are going to survive and probably sign up anyways. Keeping up to date on one site costs less than two sites. Just cut the use down to a minimum. I know there are some “anti” facebook people out there (like my brother), but I have no negativity towards FB. I like to repeat myself that it’s a freaking awesome tool, IF used right and in the right portions!
—-> From tomorrow on, spend a maximum of 30 minutes (even lesser is better) on social networks
—-> If you have trouble or feel that you´re going to miss something important, go to the DOCTOR. I´m serious.
—-> People not too long time ago (aka our parents) have survived w/o all that stuff, you´ll survive as well.
2) Instant messenger
Personally, I have stopped using msn, aim, icq a long time ago. To this day, I do not know if they offer any other or better value. I stopped for simplicity’s sake and time management reasons. I´m only using Skype. ( Check out my post why I think skype is the best choice ).
EXERCISE: How much time do you spend daily on chatting or equivalents?
This is not meant to be judgmental in any way. You might say “some friends use msn, others use xy, so one needs all of them in order to keep up”. I disagree. Your friends have the same problem. So they´ll have your program as well.
You may have other important reasons to use multiple chat programs, I advise for simplicity´s sake to choose one (whatever you like best) and stick with it. This will make you more free and will stop you from worrying about missing an “important” message. My choice was and still is Skype, but I´m sure other companies have great products as well.
—-> Choose one messenger and one only and stick with it
—-> If you are worried about missing something valuable, you know where to find the people with the white clothes
3) Forums and other random surfing
How often do you read BBV? If you don´t know what BBV is, don´t worry, you´re not missing anything. Yeah, there are some fun threads here and there, but I believe out of all places, this is the “town” where most poker players waste their time.
BBV and NVG , kill them both and your are free.
Or how often do you just randomly surf? There´s actually not much you can do about it besides stopping it. But that’s often not good enough. I´d just block the sites you waste most time on. In my security system (Kaspersky) you have the option to block certain sites.
—-> Block the worst time killers for at least one week
—-> If you break your rules, promise ahead of time to donate 1 buyin of your limit to charity
Ok, we´re coming to an end. My last advice is pretty radical. Just try to turn off your computer for one week. Don´t check your emails. I´ll promise, you´ll survive. And this exercise is not about becoming a nature loving yogi who becomes one with himself. It’s about realizing in the most easy way, that some things aren´t as important and crucial as you think they are.
Or do you think you will be missing something valuable… ?
If that’s the case, you know where to find your … ;)