Last week I wrote about slowing down, unplugging and living in the moment – a conscious decision I made this summer to relax, refresh and reflect on where I am and where I’d like to go next.
Last week I also decided to make some significant changes in the way I manage my time.
Like many, I spent a lot of time on the internet. Whether it’s checking email, Twitter, RSS feeds, reading blogs, the latest 25-best post… you know the drill. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.
After spending more time offline than online this summer I realized how much time is wasted while being constantly “connected” to the world.
I also realized how refreshing it was to just disconnect.
High-speed internet, mobile devices, free Wi-Fi… you can blame any of those things as they conveniently facilitate our habits but in the end it’s your responsibility to manage your time.
Pressure to Fit the Mold
There is a constant pressure to be the way you’re supposed to be:
- You’re supposed to blog regularly
- You’re supposed to update your Facebook status daily
- You’re supposed to answer emails within one hour (or you loose the potential client)
- You’re supposed to be on Google + if you want SEO advantage
- You’re supposed to be available for phone/Skype calls anytime
- You’re supposed to be online/plugged in all the time
- You’re supposed to collect as many friends, followers etc. as you can
- You’re supposed to…[fill in the blank]
Unplug, Unfollow, Unfriend, Unwind
I think we are all getting very tired of this constant connectivity, instant information, real-time updates and check-ins, collecting followers, comparing numbers, chasing after the next invite-only network.
Why do we feel we have to be checking Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ and all the other social spots all the time? What are we afraid of missing out? Opportunities, not responding fast enough, not learning about the next best thing, having our “friends” forget who we are?
We keep chasing the next big thing, adding to our arsenal of “responsibilities”.
We keep stretching ourselves thin mindlessly following the crowd, growing numbers, gaining “visibility”.
Soon, we’re unable to manage our time, handle the information overload, breathe.
We stress out if we don’t post a new article on schedule, forget to update our Fan Page as always, get pushed down the leadeboard as others check into more places than we do.
There are some decisions I have made that will change my internet habits and help me manage my time better:
- I’m re-aligning this blog and restructuring my business
- I’m scaling down on social networks with the goal of maximizing my time/effort (unplug, unfollow, unfriend…it’s not you, it’s me)
- I’m unsubscribing from mailing lists to help me manage my mailbox
- I’m unplugging completely on weekends to spend time with family, friends and my self
Share Your Experience
I wander if anyone shares my experience and has had a chance to unplug and disconnect occasionally. How do you cope with information overload, being connected and online all the time? How do you manage your time so you don’t get sucked into this beautiful thing called Internet?