I’ve had no Internet connection or a very spotty one for the last week. I rely on the Internet for my work, not to mention to create this blog, so it’s been frustrating, maddening, and at times, depressing to be disconnected. But it’s also been eye-opening.
During my first hours without the Internet, I thought of dozens of things I “needed” to do, but could not – access my email, download a podcast, read an article, check an account balance, see what I had on hold at the library, etc. I was shocked by how much of my life I’m living virtually – not in the, um, actual world.
After my offline experience, I’m eager to streamline my online time. And I’m going to embrace five strategies toward that end. If you’re also feeling a bit over-connected, here are some things you might try:
1. Consolidate your email
Over the years, I’ve created several email accounts. I have one for my writing business, and one for this blog, and then there’s my personal email and the one I created for newsletters and the like. This multiple-email-address approach has had its advantages, but it’s inefficient. I’m ready to consolidate into one account.
2. Subscribe to your favorite blogs
I read a number of blogs regularly. These are the ones I’ll have delivered directly to my inbox. I don’t want to clutter up my email too much, so I’ll reserve subscriptions for my favorite blogs. (If you want to subscribe to New Urban Habitat, I added a subscription button to the sidebar up there on your right.)
3. Use a feed reader
For the blogs I read on a less regular basis than my favorites, I’ll continue to use my Google feed reader. It makes it easy to read many blogs in one place, but it can also be overwhelming. I find myself only visiting once a week or so. (That’s why I’m going to have my must-reads delivered to my inbox.)
4. Leave the Internet closed while you compose
I love to research, so when I’m writing an article, a blog post, or even an email, I often find myself clicking over to Google to just look up one thing … and then one more thing. I’m amazed by how much more quickly I’ve been writing without Internet access. In the future, when I need to look up something, I’ll make a note of it and do all my research at once.
5. Put Internet-surfing last on your to-do list
When I go online first thing in the morning, quite a few other things on my to-do list tend to go undone. Lately I’ve been doing all my other chores first, which keeps things running more smoothly at home and with my business.
This post is for Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Challenge.
What are your strategies for simplifying online time?