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!