Stress blog

Tips for being productive online

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. April 17, 2012

Once upon a time before our world became digital, there was a clear boundary between work and play. We left our jobs at a certain time, and when we got home we could focus on non-work issues.

Now the equation is completely different. Almost all of us are "on the grid" and connected by the cell phone or the tablet to the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and other social media. The web can be a powerful medium for change, but it can also be an incredible time waster.

Productive and creative individuals have shared with me three rules to maximize these technologies. Let me share them with you:

  • Have a specific focus when you log on. What is it that you need to do? Without a focus, you can easily become distracted by videos and news and other websites.
  • Set a time limit. Give yourself 45 minutes or so to do what you need to do. Set an alarm to remind yourself when it's time to log off.
  • Stand up when using these tools. That way you won't get too comfortable. You'll be motivated to accomplish your task and then get on with the rest of your day.

As Charles Dickens famously wrote, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Those words are no less true today. If we don't harness these technologies, we can easily be swept away in a sea of electrons and have little to show for our time.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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Apr. 17, 2012