Surviving the digital age

How to bring order to the chaos of the online onslaught

Are you addicted to Twitter? It’s OK. No need to feel embarrassed. Millions – perhaps billions – share the same affliction. But it may not be Twitter. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, text messages, streaming video, online games, breaking news, the constant barrage of emails—sometimes it feels like today’s constant connectivity isn’t just hurting productivity; it’s distracting us from the here and now and the people around us.

But there are some solutions—strategies and guidelines that we can all follow to retake control of our days, save ourselves from the social media spiral, and survive in the digital age.

Survive with these five

  1. Create a “to do” list: Putting together a checklist of what we want to accomplish online might feel a bit restrictive, but it helps keep us on task. If you make it through the list, feel free to roam around the web, only be sure to…
  2. Give yourself an allowance: We all go online to check email, see what our friends are up to on Facebook, and read the latest headlines. The key is setting limits. Try giving yourself 30 minutes a day that’s dedicated to personal use by noting when you start surfing and when you get back to business.
  3. Don’t navigate. Aggregate:  Instead of going from site to site to get your news and social media fix, save time by aggregating all of your online streams in one place—HPNN, for example. Beyond keeping you up to date on all things HP, you can personalize your news sources, add in your social feeds, and even get your local weather on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  4. Turn off alerts—all of them: Is it really that important that Ronaldinho just updated his Twitter feed or that Rihanna posted a new YouTube video? Probably not.
  5. Give your work email a rest: We all feel the urge to plunge right into work by answering our email in the morning, but is that really the best use of our time? Some think email is best left alone until later in the day, freeing up our mornings for actual work. You can also try answering only the most pressing emails while leaving others for later.

So there you have it: a short guide on how to manage your time so that you’re locked in at work while staying plugged in to the world at large. Now get back to work (or maybe check your Facebook page)!