The idea is simple – do not open your email, visit forums, hit your blog’s comments, open your rss reader, visit your favourite websites…in other words, do not ANY type of ‘input’ in your working hours until you have the time allocated to ‘ACT’ on that input.
For example, it’s common practice for bloggers to open up their email inbox several times a day to ‘scan’ for important emails. Depending on the amount of emails one gets, this can mean a few quick responses and then leaving those emails that require a longer response lying in wait till late night. At night, you might not have the time / energy to write long responses and those emails get left on next day.
Or, when we hit up our RSS reader without scheduling time to blog about any news item we find interesting. What happens if we come across something worth blogging about? It goes in the bookmarks, and those bookmarks keep adding up until you have to do some spring cleaning or the load becomes so overwhelming that you have to dump them and start afresh.
Or…when we hit forums where we network frequently only to browse and not to comment / reply on threads.
All such activities take up time – valuable time – from our daily routine. Instead of checking your email 5 times in 4 minute segments, you could easily check it once a day in 20 minutes, and in that time you will respond to more emails and get more things done than in the 5 short breaks during the day. The same goes for blogging (you’ve already read an article once, and if you leave it for later, you’ll have to read it again. It maybe only a few minutes of time but once you add that time up you can build an amazing debt of time.
I get distracted easily, so it’s a continuous battle to avoid such time wasters, especially when I’m not going to ‘do anything about them’.
If you really need a 5-10 minute break, get off your butt and excercise – if you’re a blogger, you probably need it more than a quick trip to your inbox to check your mail for the 3rd time in the day.
…except that we’d then keep checking the group for updates throughout the day
I’m still guilty of checking my stats too much. Maybe I should register the domain “stataholicsanonymous.com” and start a group for it…
I tend to fall into that black hole of time wasting. I completely agree that it’s a waste of time to halfway commit to something — like reading a blog when you don’t have time, then going back later to comment, etc. I would probably have an extra 30 minutes (at least) per day if I stopped doing that. 🙂