08/06/09
Are You An Internet Time Waster?

“Computers Increase Productivity and Save Time”       – but do they?wasting time Are You An Internet Time Waster?

Computers and the internet are the great white hope of the 21st century, without them where would we be? There’s no doubt they can save time and increase productivity and that certainly used to be the case before the advent of the internet when your only possibility of distraction was a sneaky game of Freecell.

Well things have moved on a bit since then and we now have the wonderful world of the internet. Yes it can be a very useful tool and there is no doubt that the ease of accessing information saves you a lot of time. Whereas I used to have to scour hardcore programming manuals to find the solution to a problem, I can now pop my query into a search engine and 90% of the time it will produce the results I need. Failing that the fall back is to post my problem on one of the myriad of forums to be found on the web and geeks are falling over themselves to provide me with a solution.

But for the time I can save, I can find 101 new ways to waste it and I’m not just talking about playing games and randomly browsing. Yes that is a problem especially when you work in an environment like us where a big part of our job is keeping up on the latest web trends via seo sites and blogs and completing indepth keyword and competitor analysis where each hyperlink clicked can take you off on a tangent. But recently I have noticed I am spending more and more time being distracted by work related tools such as:

  • Incoming Emails (Genuine and Spam!)
  • MSN Messenger
  • Business Forums
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc)
  • Calendars and Task Managers

Office Based ADHD

My average day starts with sitting down at my PC with a much needed bucket of caffeine, checking and responding to my emails. Then I do my daily rounds on the business forums. We find these exceptionally useful, allowing us to learn in areas that aren’t our speciality, whilst allowing us to impart our knowledge in areas that are. This creates a community where everyone benefits and provides us with increased website traffic and more business enquiries. Once I’ve dragged myself away, a quick check of my email is required again – ‘oh dear a few new ones – best refill the caffeine bucket!’.

Armed with a freshly filled bucket its time to log into Remember The Milk and see what I have planned for the day. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Remember The Milk it is a free online task manager and although I am discussing it here, it does actually help me plan my day effectively (just don’t get too anal about inputting every little task!)

Well it’s half an hour later and I’m back again, writing this blog…

Let me explain, whilst checking the hyperlink above to Remember The Milk, I noticed you can also integrate it with Google Calendar, GMail, Firefox and Twitter. Whilst integrating it with GMail I obviously had to check my personal emails and also to integrate it I had to enable something on GMail Labs which has countless timesaving (or are they timewasting?) devices you can integrate with GMail – I managed to avoid those for today, but rest assured, I’ve scheduled them in Remember The Milk for another day. Thank God I haven’t got an iphone, the app for that looks brilliant!social media Are You An Internet Time Waster?

Right, what was I saying? (Sorry must have got distracted again!)

Just had a chat with someone on MSN Messenger which then necessitated me sending an email. I had closed Outlook down to avoid distraction, but as soon as you do, you can guarantee you’ll need to send an urgent email. Of course, once opened, it would be rude not to respond to the new emails that have arrived. So as you can see I have been busy working all morning, time for a break I think and then I need to Tweet about this blog and do all our social media bookmarking – no rest for the wicked. Let me leave you with an interesting article my mate emailed me the other day about social media statistics. Yes, it distracted me but then it was work related!

That reminds me I must go and check Facebook and have a look at YouTube over lunch. Hey ‘all work and no play…..’

If this all sounds a bit too familiar then please let us know what saps your time in our poll.