Time offline = More time?

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In a January 2010 Marketing Mix blog post, Peleg Top wrote about having Intentions instead of “making resolutions.” It sounded like a good idea, so I set myself a handful of Intentions for 2010, including having one weekend day completely free from work every week and a work-free weekend every month.

Having that Intention made me see that the business-oriented online activities I did during working hours – reading and posting to industry blogs, following comments, researching, writing & responding to emails – always seemed to take more time than I planned or wanted to spend.

I came up with three things I could do differently to make better use of my work-week time online:

  • I cut way back on visits to the Virtual Water Cooler. Except for targeted blogs in areas I’m pursuing, I stopped reading all but 4 business blogs and post only very occasionally. I miss the “social networking,” but it’s a ton of time saved.
  • I keep a list of things I need to do online, and log on once or twice a day to do them. Otherwise, I’m offline. News flashes and the inbox can wait a few hours.
  • Unless email is the only sensible option, I make phone calls instead. They’re faster! Mostly I leave voicemails. Sometimes the person answers and we talk. Old school? Maybe, but it works. And people seem to like it.

These changes were essentially painless, or pleasant. I got the free time on weekends I hoped for. Plus “extra” time during the week to finish regular work and actually get to several of the “Would be great!” items that had been languishing at the bottom of my to-do list for months.

Peleg, you were right – Intentions are better than resolutions. Thank you!

Special thanks to Patrice Robertie of Acorn Advertising in Arlington, MA.

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