Wasting Time Online

6 pm : I opened my laptop with the aim of writing a blog post. I have done just 3 posts this month and that’s playing a lot on my mind. I told myself that I have 2-home-chore/work-free-hours and I must make use of this time by writing the much needed post.

I opened my windows live writer and thought of probable topics to write about. I nipped two ideas in the bud. An email alert distracted me. I quickly changed windows to check the ‘could-be-THE-mail’. It was a promo mail from Flipkart sharing ‘Just a few hours to go for the Flipkart Republic Day Sale’. A saner me would have ignored the mail, but the real me clicked on the link and checked out phones, which I had no intention of buying. I then moved on to home appliances, furnishings, crockery… After quite a while, I realized that I am wasting my time and I must get back to work. I remembered that during the Vipassana course, they taught us that the important thing is to realize how soon one becomes aware that the mind has wandered. I was glad that I had this realization.

As I turned my attention back to the post, I thought hard for inspiration. But like that blank post page, my mind was blank too.

My fingers clicked on the Google Chrome icon on the taskbar and without a thought they moved towards Facebook. I scrolled through my timeline. Liked a few pictures and posts and went on to reading articles on Jallikattu to understand the controversy and then to  know all about Shahid Kapoor’s brother Ishaan who is making his debut in a globally acclaimed filmmaker’s next and that Akshay Kumar’s ‘Jabra’ fan cycled all the way from Haridwar to meet his idol. I wondered if any earth-shattering updates had appeared on Facebook since I read the article, so I went back to check my timeline real quick.

A small voice told me to get back to work, but the allure of “The way you clench your fist reveals these interesting things about your personality’ was too powerful. After nodding my head in agreement with the analysis, I saw a video of a guilty dog and that made me go all aww! and I clicked on some more related videos and spent a few more minutes watching the cute cats and dogs videos.

Another email about books on Kindle Unlimited from Amazon compelled me to check the titles I could read. My eyes looked at the racing clock and I admonished myself. But how could I resist the mesmerizing cake frosting video and then cool product advertisements on Facebook of onlyimported.com and propshop24.com had to be explored.

After adding a few products in my mental wish list, I looked at the clock. It was 8 pm. Arrrrghhh! What happened? Where did the 2 hours go??

I had spent 2 hours on the internet and had absolutely wasted the time I could have used for doing some productive work.

I have this realization that I waste my time online. And of late this has been bothering me a lot. But what do I do about it? Well, nothing most of the time.

But then today, I HAD to write this post. So, I simply

  • Closed the distracting sites (Facebook, email, Twitter, shopping sites etc)
  • Silenced the notifications on the phone
  • Gave myself a goal of finishing the post in 30 minutes

And voila!  my post is done.

I am wondering why didn’t I do this earlier?

I am glad that I achieved my goal today, but will I be able to stay away from this mindless surfing?

Do you waste time on internet when you should be actually working? If not, what techniques/methods do you use to be more productive. Do share your tips and suggestions. I am all ears and eyes too!


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21 thoughts on “Wasting Time Online

  1. Like you have described, I waste a lot of time on the internet. Human mind is a monkey. It jumps from one tree to another tree lot of times, in a flick of a second.

  2. These days I force myself not to open facebook while blogging… It’s so distracting. And all those Hollywood gossips that keep floating in adverts are so tempting. I can totally relate to you.

  3. Ha ha ha.. that’s exactly what happens when I sit to write a post. I’ve started switching off the data network and putting the phone on silent when I work. But since writing a post isn’t strictly work I still get distracted. Congratulations on finishing your post despite all of that.

  4. I’m happy I lived most of my life before social media and the Internet existed. I had much less opportunity for time wasting. I am amazed now at how much more I accomplished. The only technique that works is to turn it off.

  5. Facebook is a waste of time. I see a lot of articles and unknowingly click and end up reading all of them. I have limited my fb time but still it happens. It’s very easy to spend time on social media. Mindfulness is much needed. And for me watching shows mindlessly is another problem nowadays. I need to control that. 🙂

  6. I keep the wifi on my phone off unless l put it on. I have disabled all notifications from the phone so that l don’t look unless l want to. I keep some time in the day to ‘waste’ on the net when l browse idly. I am hardly active on FB so my newsfeed has reduced drastically.

  7. Ohhhh..this could have been my post too Shilpa…I do…I do…that is why I have enrolled myself in a few classes , now I get home work to do & when I attend such classes I leave my mobile at home. The rest of time I spend more on my phone ( I have almost stopped using my laptop) & do all those you mentioned…even my blog has no posts since 2 months. See even this comment I am typing from PhoNe & came to this post through fb

  8. This is surely an issue with the current generation. We waste time on all the nonsense that floats aflround on the world wide web. I realised this and have ever since removed all notifications from my laptop and mobile. Not that it completely solved my problem but reduced it a wee bit

  9. Oh, I can completely relate to this, Shilpa. You know sometimes I want to look up a recipe and reach for the phone and then I get swallowed in the vortex of messages and forget the original purpose. I close all the other tabs (read social media) when I’ve to seriously write for work or blog.

  10. Yes, can completely relate to that …. just “hanging” around … online and whoops – how the hours fled- doing nothing…. However I rarely watch tv, and I maybe have made someone happy with comments etc online- so maybe not a total waste …. but the best is to just go offline, yes- great read, Shilpa:-)

  11. Wifi Off, Writing ON! 🙂
    That’s the best mantra, isn’t it? Of course, I do not believe for one minute that you struggle with writing. You are a prolific writer, Shilpa

  12. It happens with me too….and I crib throughout the day….Lately I have started telling myself what I will do when I get up in the morning and I try to stick to that….It does help…..although it needs discipline…..

  13. Ha ha! What a fun post.
    Yes, I also waste time sometimes but I have realized that closing FB and twitter always helps. Plus I have blocked all notifications on chrome and then my phone is always on vibrate mode. I have seen I wander but when I do, it’s intentional 🙂

  14. Haha.. It’s fun to read this post. It happens, I guess, with many of us. How we intend to write a post religiously and end up surfing other stuff, only to realize the time that is obviously wasted all the while!


  15. very relevant post, and thank God my centre keeps me occupied so I get very little time to be on line, and whenever possible I try to make a post 🙂 These days social media addiction is a serious issue among the youngsters and its really sad when I see them struggling to focus and manage their time..

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