In the age of high-speed Internet and constant mobile access to the web, people spend incredible amounts of time online. With e-commerce, social media, and entertainment options always available, it’s easy to get sucked into wasteful hours on the Internet, which detracts from real productivity and the enjoyment of life.
After all, a wise consumer carefully prices out things likeinternet plansfollow and long distance callingfollow plans. One should also meticulously think through time spent online — not just money.
Five quick and simple ways to maximize time spent on the Internet are outlined below.
1) Clean Up Your E-mail
Despite so many advancements on the Internet, e-mail still consumes a massive amount of time. To make things easier, one should only use one e-mail account or two at the most — one each for business and personal use. Web-based e-mail clients like Google Mail and apps for mobile devices can easily help even a novice consolidate multiple accounts into one inbox, completely eliminate spam, and filter and file messages into appropriate folders. Also, take the time to unsubscribe to mailing lists that are unimportant.
2) Be a Loyal Customer to Select e-Commerce Sites
It’s easy to waste hours shopping online. To prevent this, register with sites like eBay and Amazon and allow them to track your spending and browsing habits. This way, when you log-in to these sites you will be presented with customized suggestions of the types of items you’re actually interested in so you don’t have to search or browse for too long.
3) Go Local for News
There are far too many news sources and blogs on the Internet. Find a news site that you like, bookmark it, and don’t use others under normal circumstances. Highly reputable sites will cover everything you could possibly want to follow and you can register for news alerts for things you care about. In particular, you can subscribe to the local news that affects you the most. If the news site you like is subscription-based, it may be worth the money.
4) Pare Down Social Networks
Perhaps the biggest time-suck online is social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If you’re absolutely committed to using them, either only connect with a small number of people whose lives you absolutely want or need to know about consistently, or hide the feeds of a majority of the people you’re connected with. Limit yourself to posting only when you have something urgent to broadcast to a large group that can’t be announced in any easier way.
5) Make Intelligent Use of User-Content-Driven Sites
Sites like Reddit and Digg can be fun, but people can get lost in them for hours for no reason. Register with such sites so that you can specifically customize only the type of content you wish to see. Subscribe only to discussions about your few primary interests and to things related to your real everyday life where you live. Ignore everything else. And absolutely do not waste time reading comments or participating in debates with total strangers.