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3 Internet Time-Wasters and How to Eliminate Them

You have better things to do than surf the Internet—like do your work, and live your life, and be happier.

There's no denying it: We have become utterly dependent on our computers and smartphones. It's pretty unfortunate, when you think about it. Although the internet has huge benefits for our daily lives, at the end of the day we are still spending a lot of time staring at electronic screens—not exactly a guaranteed way to get a happiness boost.

The trick is to eliminate the unnecessary time we spend staring at these screens so we can spend some more in-person time with our favorite friends and family. To accomplish this, here are three computer time-wasters and how to rid yourself of their negative influence.  

3. Facebook
First, let me be clear: I am a fan of Facebook! I think it's very useful in keeping touch with a lot of people at once. The question is: Just how often do you need to be on Facebook to accomplish this? 

You may have suspected this already, but a lot of posts on Facebook are either nonsense or meant to be inflammatory. There is no stopping people from making such posts, but you do have a choice in whether you spend time arguing with them.

How to eliminate it:
Make a rule. Visit Facebook just once a day, focusing only on the positive. After a while, you might even wean yourself to once a week! You'll probably find that you are not missing much and that you have a lot more free time.

2. Other Internet browsing
Most of us have sites that we habitually check, just for fun. It's a little daily ritual, like our coffee in the morning. Except it's a cup of coffee that never seems to end! 

MORE: Make Your Social Media World a Happier Place

In order to “keep up,” websites are forced to do daily or even up-to-the-minute updates on new content or breaking news. Have you ever missed a day of these updates on one of your regular sites? Did it negatively affect you in the slightest? Probably not.

How to eliminate it:
Cut down the sites you browse to the ones you find most valuable, then narrow these down to one or two sites that you check daily. Unless you find the material highly edifying, don't waste your time. Admit it: You have better things to do than while away hours on trite content and pointless Internet browsing.

1. Email
Our first two Internet time-wasters are obvious. This one is not; email disguises itself very well as a perfectly legitimate use of your time. However, a closer look reveals that, unless we have a job or personal situation that requires immediate email responses, we give it far too much daily attention.

For example, although it is very courteous of you to respond to emails right away, most of the time people don't care if you reply to their messages in two hours or 24. Of course, once you read an email, it is far more tempting to respond, which is why you shouldn't check your email so often in the first place!

How to eliminate it:
Set a time once or twice a day that is your time to check and respond to email. Otherwise, stay away from it. If some people expect you to respond more quickly, send them a courtesy email letting them know of your new email policy and how to contact you in case of emergency. 

QUIZ: Find Your Best Hobbies for Happiness

For an added bit of help, visit the site RescueTime.com, where you can track your internet usage and set timers to remind you when it’s time to log off. Take back control of your time—it's your most valuable resource. Without time, you have no life. With time, you have the opportunity for limitless enjoyment and exploration. Take advantage starting today.

 

 

 

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