Technology is a powerful tool, but it also can be a distracting time-waster. I have been honored to use this tool to not only help organize my life in many ways, to maintain this blog ministry, but I have also experienced its powerful drawing nature. I have seen the minutes and hours tick by as I have been distracted with reading yet another post, or another update, or researching another product. I have noticed a growing trend, especially among stay-at-home mom’s to be sucked into the world of social media. It may be that we are taking care of little ones all day long and we desperately need an outlet. The enemy likes to draw our attention away from doing Kingdom work (and that surely includes your mothering, wifely, and household duties), and waste precious time.
I have had an IPhone for the past two years. It has been very useful for maintaining my schedule, organizing various aspects of my life, and keeping up to date on so many things. Over the last few months, the Lord has been convicting me that it was time to let it go. Why? It had certainly increased my productivity, but it had also become a distraction. Because I had to keep my phone near me most of the day, my temptation was to frequently check email, twitter, facebook, and other updates. It was a hard decision to make, but when the time came to say goodbye…I did feel incredibly free. Sometimes it requires drastic steps to let go of these strongholds.
Here are some practical suggestions that I have found helpful in reigning in this tiger and using the Internet in a wise manner. We women love connecting with people, and so much of that now is taking place online through facebook and twitter. You view someone status and then you get sucked in to view their pictures, which leads you to another’s profile, and it goes on.
- Limit your friends.
As much as I’d love to be friends with everyone that may request it, I must be honest with myself. Do I have time to read all their updates, status reports, pictures? No. We cannot possibly maintain all these friendships. There is no race to gain the most friends, it does not show how popular you are. Only chose those friends that are truly friends.
- Limit your status updates to once a day.
This applies to twitter and facebook. Who wants to read your 10th tweet for the day? Sorry. I stop following those who tweet too repeatedly, or who re-tweet everything out there. Stick with the important stuff. Truly evaluate whether or not you want to communicate something. IS this really that beneficial to re-tweet? Is this really going to encourage or bless someone? A highlight in your day is awesome, but not every passing detail.
- Chose your favorite 5 blogs.
I used to be subscribed to 30 different blogs. I finally realized I always skipped half of them. So then why are they still cluttering my RSS feed? Select the unsubscribe button. Ask yourself: does this blog really inspire me? Does it cause me to compare? I weeded out 25 and stuck with my favorite 5 blogs. So yes, if that means unsubscribing from PH, than I encourage you to do so. My goal is not to get the most subscribers, but rather help you weed out distractions, and if this blog is one…I want to encourage you to remove it.
- Use a timer for your computer time.
I found it very helpful to designate a specific hour during the day that could be my computer time. And yes, I aim to limit it to 1 1/2 hours and that being mostly during the children’s naptime period (pregnancy requires mommy to take a short nap myself to maintain my joy and energy!). I utilize Online Stopwatch for 15 minute intervals. 15 minutes on emails, 15 minutes on social media, 15 minutes responding to comments, and the final 30 minutes on blogging. It’s hard to write a post in 30 minutes, but that is my goal. This may tweak a bit with each day, but it is my guideline. Make a plan for your computer time and guard it carefully.
And one final thing to mention on this line…May I encourage you to keep your computer away from your bedroom. I try to store my laptop in the farthest location away from my bedroom and morning activities. Otherwise, it is too easy to check my email. Are you like me who imagines I can do it ‘real quick’? I also believe your bedroom should be a sacred place for you and your husband.
To read my thoughts on Television and movies, check out my Simplifying Entertainment post.
Now it’s your turn…how do you seek to guard your computer time? What practical tips can you offer for protecting against it from becoming a time-waster?