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The Amazing Effects of a Weekend Without Television and the Internet

The Amazing Effects of a Weekend Without Television and the Internet

Recently, I was overwhelmed with the constant presence of electronic devices in my life. I realized that I could hardly get through an hour, much less a day, without checking my email or Facebook. And than I decided to carry out the experiment and spend the whole weekend without TV, the internet, mobile phone, games and so on. I wanted just to forget about this stuff and try to find the alternative. My friends and I went to the countryside so I have a lot of time to think about my life, my time and my experiment. In the beginning it was extremely hard not to check emails or call somebody. But then I started using this time to think over so many things in my life. That’s what I had in result.

Being uncomfortable without noise in the background

In the old days, there were only three, four, or five channels, which meant you had to go entertain yourself in some way because watching TV was too dull. But, over time the TV has gained more channels, music is easier to get, and video games have become more fun than real life. Bringing up children on TV and nasty after effects can start to appear in later life. For example, kids watch cruel cartoons and movies where the murders, chases, accidents, divorces happen so often that in time, they subconsciously set themselves up to the worst. I think children should believe in fairy tales, miracles, that good defeats evil.

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But unfortunately, there are so many people that feel incredibly uncomfortable in silence. It is not a new thing, but it is far more ingrained and damaging than most people give it credit for. You are going to find out just how bad you have this “no silence” condition when you try going without TV, the Internet, music or video games over a weekend. Just how uncomfortable you become is unclear, but you may be in for a very big shock as you realize just how lonely and uncomfortable you feel.

You may find yourself talking incessantly on the phone, to which people will become annoyed because they have TV to watch, video games to play, Internet the explore and music to listen to. When you do discover just how bad you have this “no silence” condition, it is up to you to start curing yourself. This weekend without TV, the Internet, music or video games could be the wake up you need so that you are no longer hooked on electronic entertainment. It could be holding you back far more than you realize.

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Having nothing to do because it is harder to waste time

This is another big problem you are going to face that is second only to the point made above. The TV, the Internet, music and/or video games are great because they help you waste time without fuss and effort. Without them, you will start to feel as if you have nothing to do. You will start to feel restless or feel time start to drag.

Time drags and you feel bored and restless because you are removed from the time-vampires that are constant electronic entertainment. Your job is to work through these feelings to free yourself from electronic-entertainment reliance. Lose the reliance and you will start to realize other aspects of your life that you have been neglecting, such as planning for your future, your family, your house, your friends, your kids or your health.

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The uncomfortable feeling of having to think

On the Simpsons, someone turns off the TV and Homer says, “Well turn something on, I’m starting to think.” Though they were making a joke, you will find that you do start to think. The things you think about may not be very good. People have a tendency to be very negative about themselves and their experiences when they are thinking alone.

Furthermore, such a long bout of having to think without cessation may also make you realize some things about yourself. You may realize just how little you are doing with your life, or just how long ago it was when you played with your pets. One hopes that these realizations will prompt you into action so that you change the way things are going.

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The nights are often the worst

You are probably going to be okay during the day. There are often numerous distractions around the house and outside the house that will help you take your mind off the fact you cannot use your TV, the Internet, music or video games. But, at night it starts to sink in that you have very little to do. It is not that you truly have little or nothing to do; it is just that you are so used to having your electronic entertainment that it has blinded you to the other things you may do.

Actually going the distance needs to be done

If you cannot go a full weekend without TV, the Internet, music and video games then you are in trouble. It means you are far too reliant on electronic entertainment and it means your state of mind is not too healthy. A starting point may be to wean yourself slowly away from the TV, the Internet, music and video games. You can start slow and wean yourself off them over time. Replace them with other, more productive, activities.

Just remember that you are in serious psychological trouble if you cannot go the weekend without your TV, Internet, music and video games. It means your reliance on electronic entertainment is filling a gap in your life that you are not addressing. It means that you’re trying to find a refuge but do the opposite. Scientists call this disorder the Internet addiction. It also indicates that you have a compulsion–if not an actual addiction to electronic entertainment. It is not as uncommon as you think, as many people have a legitimate Facebook addiction.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcelograciolli/ via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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