December 23, 2020

How To Effectively Manage Your Time Online

Over the years technological advancements have made the internet a useful tool; almost everything you need is available online. In 2020, many people have been using a range of online tools for remote working for collaboration, project management, hosting virtual meetings and more. This year tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Trello, have been quite popular to use. On the one hand, the internet presents a wide range of online opportunities and activities, such as virtual working, online shopping, gambling, blogging, gaming, news, and plenty of other digital content.

However, on the other hand, spending too much time online may present an overwhelming struggle to handle the workloads or get other tasks done. It can be all too easy to spend hours watching Youtube videos or talking for ages on a video call with a friend or colleague. As a result, it is possible to lose track of your work tasks or any productive activity, especially when the time spent online is unmonitored. Fortunately, today, there are tools and techniques that you can use to manage the time spent online effectively.

Use some time tracking tools

In the modern app-driven world that we are in right now, it is possible to find tools and resources to track and monitor almost everything. For example, tracking tools may come in handy in keeping track of the time spent on the web. According to Zapier, some of the best tracking apps to use in 2021 are Toggl Track, HourStack, and RescueTime that can help you track your time and reduce your distractions. Time tracking tools can have a range of features and functionalities that help keep an eye on your online habits. Project management tools, such as Proofhub and Trello, also help in tracking the progress of work-related tasks. This way, you can spend time online without jeopardizing your productivity at work.

Close up of young woman using smartwatch at a cafe. Female sitting at a table and checking her smart watch.

Create a schedule for browsing breaks

Whether you are on the internet to browse, shop, gamble, work or watch videos, it is always crucial to know when it’s time to take a step back from the screen. Not just for your productivity but also to rest your eyes too. Earlier this year, Financial Management highlighted the importance of taking healthy breaks while working from home. They highlighted how useful it can be for both your physical and mental health to meditate, spend time outdoors, and eat healthy snacks. Spending long periods of time online can sometimes weaken your ability to focus on important things, such as work and human relationships. Creating a schedule for browsing breaks is a way to ensure that you are spending time online only when necessary.

Track your time manually

At a time when people are working virtually, a work break can end without taking a break in the literal sense. This is why manual time tracker is fundamental. Having a manual alarm timer is simple and quite effective to use in everyday life, for your work breaks, and for reminders and morning alarms. The timer helps you to easily monitor how much time you have left before the break period lapses. This way, you can grab a meal during a lunch break instead of checking on social media updates or catching up on an online game. Alternatively, you can use the manual timer to set apart some browsing breaks.

Go offline

Rear view of father and son walking in autumn forest

Sometimes disconnecting from the web altogether is all you need to gain clarity and direction. Close your browser, log out from social media pages and disconnect from your devices. If possible, take a walk down the street or get some fresh air outside. You might also want to consider taking an offline holiday or a ‘digital detox’ where you stay offline for a day or so. If someone spends hours each day browsing through social media news feeds, maybe it’s time to switch off and read a book or get some fresh air instead. In September, Saturday the 5th was Digital Detox Day which is a campaign to encourage people to literally switch off and go offline for 24-hours. Celebrities Zoe Sugg and Jordan Stephens backed the day and wanted people to join them in the switch-off event. Sometimes days like this are useful to join in to reflect on just how much time we spend online.

With even just a 24-hour break, online users can rest their eyes, get some fresh air, and maybe try out a new activity. Hitting the off button on your phone is useful to do now and then to step away from technology for a while since they’re being used every day.

Another online hobby that has become increasingly popular is online gambling.  In a similar vein to Digital Detox Day, Safer Gambling Week aims to raise awareness of having a break and controlling online activity.  There are various services and charities set up to help keep online gambling safe, as casino reviews site covers in their article Addressing the Issue of Problem Gambling.

Try setting yourself some boundaries

The internet can really disrupt your day if left unmanaged. Today, social interactions, in-person communication, and mental productivity are slowly getting displaced by the time spent online. People can often spend hours browsing and chatting and neglecting other important things they need to do. By setting boundaries, people can assign dedicated time to online activities and get other things done as well. BetBlocker can help online gamblers set boundaries for their online gambling activities through self-exclusion. If a player wants to restrict themselves from online gambling websites for a fixed period of time, this tool can help block access to thousands of sites. With Apple iPhone screen time, iPhone users can also set themselves fixed downtime and app limits to reduce the amount of time they are spending on their phones.

Setting boundaries for the amount of time you are online can help boost both your physical and mental health as you switch off from your notifications and stop sitting down for long periods of time with devices. While there are many useful apps to use on a daily basis, it’s important to know when to give yourself a break away from the screen. Too much screen time can cause eyestrain, headaches, and also have an impact on your posture.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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