Posted by: Nici | 25 June, 2009

Addicted to your computer?

If you are anything like me, the following article will make total sense.

*My name is Nici and I am addicted to my computer*

The personal computer can be an incredible time saving device. You can use it to bank online, order refills for your prescriptions, shop for clothes, gifts or food. You can send an e-card, email or read a newspaper. The downside to this incredibly helpful technology is that it is so easy to get swept up into the cyber world and lose track of the real world that is right in front of you.

1) The first thing you should do is sit down and give some serious thought to exactly what your computer means to you and how it functions in your life. Is it just an entertainment tool or are you using it for business?

2) You want your computer to benefit your life which will mean setting some ground rules. These will vary widely per your individual circumstances. Give yourself an appropriate time limit when online. If you have a family at home, don’t allow your computer time to take away from real face-to-face quality time with them. Nothing online is as important as being with your loved ones. If you use your computer as a social tool, as most people do in this day and age, be sure that you also get out in the real world and interact with other live, breathing humans.

3) Take a good hard, long look at email you receive. You can and should control what you allow to enter your email box. If you have friends or family members who forward you every joke or virus warning to make its way around the Internet, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them politely to stop. Remove your email address from all but the very most important newsletters.

4) If you enjoy reading online news articles but can’t seem to break yourself of the habit of following every link imbedded in the stories, you can always print out the article and read the hard copy–be discerning, please, so as not to generate tons of paper clutter). You can also carry these printed stories with you in your purse for time when you might be waiting with time to kill.

5) Just like you don’t have to read every email you receive, there’s also no rule out there that says you have to download and view every (or any for that matter) of the plethora of video clips or Powerpoint shows that people love to send to everyone that they’ve ever met. It’s okay to simply delete the email.

6) Make a plan before you get on the computer. Say for example that you have one hour to spend. Jot down a list of the things you know you need to accomplish in that time frame. If you spend 10 minutes doing online banking, 15 minutes to read and reply to email, 15 minutes to place an online order or two then that will leave you 20 minutes left to spend on an online forum or social networking site.

7) If you find yourself frequently losing track of time and spending more time than you planned, start setting a timer. Once the timer goes off, be true to your decision and put down the mouse. Avoid the trap of saying just 10 more minutes. In that 10 minutes, you could have thrown in a load of laundry or filled and started the dishwasher–or better yet, have snuggled with a child or a pet.

8) In order to avoid feeling guilty while you’re online, use your computer time as a reward for time spent on less pleasant tasks. For instance, you can promise yourself that if you spend 45 minutes and vacuum the house, then you get to spend 15 minutes online doing whatever you please. If you prefer to work in baby steps or in 15 minute blocks, than give yourself baby steps on the computer, say 5 minutes to check the latest headlines.

9) Even if you use your computer primarily for business, it’s still easy to get sucked into the black hole of time. Avoid checking your email every 10 minutes. Work email is a convenience, but it can quickly become very inefficient if overused.

10) Be sure to get up from your computer frequently, walk around a bit, stretch your legs, shake out your arms, wrists and fingers. Have a drink of water and rest your eyes.

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