In order to move forward in time, you first need to reflect. Consider, how often have you had to juggle many tasks at the same time?
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From years of working with tertiary students (either straight out of high school or mature age students or students from a different cultural background), I have found that most of the time considered wasted doesn’t happen externally of ourselves, but rather within ourselves. Time escapes us: from daydreaming, worrying, and struggling with wanting to do something other than what we’ve set ourselves to do – to name but some time eaters.
Therefore, although there is much to be said about ‘multi-tasking’, to be most effective and use time most efficiently, you want to aim at having only one thing going on in your mind at one time – and as a student that’s the task that you have decided to do in front of you right here, right now.
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Five tips to help you limit time wasted online
Do you find that the amount of time you spend online is distracting you from the things you really need to get on with?
Many people will waste time online. It’s easy to click on an irrelevant but interesting link, which can lead to another link, and so on. However, it’s important to know how and when you spend time online. The following 5 tips can help you to control the time wasted online:
Tip 1: Track your time online
You can analyse your time online by, for example, simply viewing your internet history files, or by using a software that can track your productivity (search for ‘productivity tracking software’).
Tip 2: Limit online time wasting
While it’s expected that you will waste time, make a decision on how much time you will allocated each day online and then aim to stick to your decision. It may not always work out, but you should be able to significantly improve online time by analysing and then scheduling time wasted online.
Tip 3: Use a timer
A timer can have a surprisingly positive effect on productivity. It can be as simple as an egg timer or a web-based application (search for ‘online timer’). You must, of course, remember to set your timer before you begin your online activity.
Tip 4: Choose your time online
The time of day in which you go online can affect how you use it. There may be certain times of the day in which you are at your weakest. You might find that, for you, it is better to go online in the evening rather than mid-morning; do you waste more time if you go online during the day? Whenever possible, learn to work according to your daily rhythm.
Tip 5: Start strong
When you first connect to the internet for the day, will the first page you see help you focus or cause distraction? You can set up your browser’s start page so that the first page you see will encourage what you want and discourage what you don’t. Take care to avoid including irrelevant items on your personalised start page so that you can get off to a good start online.
- Track your time online.
- Limit your online time wasting.
- Use a timer.
- Choose your time online
- Start strong.
While each of these five tips will help you to reduce time wasted online, self-discipline is still important; but used together, they will have a positive impact on your productivity.