Managing Time the Online Way
Today's fast-lane life style presents many challenges and uphill skirmishes regardless of which country you belong to or which cultural preference you practice. There are only twenty four hours in a day and the human tendency to measure achievement entirely on the basis of asset accumulation adds to an already over-heated social fabric. Our cover story this month explores the challenge of managing time expeditiously in an already crowded online universe. It shows you how the problem itself can be harnessed as the solution through the use of several online time management tools and expert solutions.
The 360 Degree View
Take a moment to turn around for a 360 degree view of the world around you. What do you notice? It is impatience all the way. The cacophony of honking vehicles mars your tranquility daily even before the light can turn green at a traffic signal. Try buying a movie ticket for the next blockbuster at your favorite Cineplex and you will notice how some overtly impatient souls will attempt to get ahead of you. As a race, many of us have forgotten how to control time and allow time to control us. This predicament creates serious difficulties such as our inability to meet deadlines, mismatched priorities, failure to complete projects, and most importantly, a deep sense of inner loss.
Solutions for Survival
As active members of the world's largest community—the online community, your vulnerability quotient is well above average. The Internet is known to be addictive. Computers are addictive. Excessive exposure to the Internet caused due to high levels of addiction is a recognized health risk. More often than not we live in our own time cages and are eventually encircled by a time warp. Our ability to set priorities is compromised quickly resulting in a slew of lost opportunities.
Where does Time Disappear
If the amount of time you spend in unproductive activity is disproportionate to your achievement levels, a sound and viable time management strategy is certainly worth considering. Here are the top five unproductive activities online professionals like you do to flitter the time away:
- Internet chat and IM activity unrelated to either business or professional growth
- Internet surfing simply for the sake of surfing
- Opening junk mail out of sheer curiosity
- Conducting Google searches on friends and relatives
- Subscribing to e-mail discussion lists and online newsletters that are marginally relevant at best
The Online Fix
Behavioral scientists have developed thousands of methods and strategies to help you manage time and the jungle can be quite overwhelming. At Live2Support, we looked at a number of possible time management solutions that happen to be free and available online. The best one we found is an Australian site:
For starters, here is what the Sydney Morning Herald has to say about the site:
"This Australian site is "committed to helping busy people get a little more control of their personal and professional lives". It does this mainly through an online diary enhanced by emailed reminders and a link to a gift suggestion service. Users can select from eight different religions and be notified of coming festivals. There's also a reminder of key holidays and celebrations in more than 20 countries."
This unique online time management suite works seamlessly like a corporate VPN and helps busy professionals like you to get a little more control of their personal and professional lives. It goes beyond rudimentary time controls and assists subscribers to set priorities and function more effectively. Yourorganiser.com is equipped with a free online diary and real time calendar that allows you to manage your daily schedule more easily. With weekly and monthly views neatly organized into logical categories, you will be able to see at a glance what the stars foretell for you-- there is even a daily horoscope to get you started. Each diary also includes a comprehensive address book and a "to do" list. Additionally, personal reminders can be easily e-mailed to you with a single mouse click for any events you might forget. These e-mail- driven reminders are not limited to professional activity such as meetings, business presentations and conferences. but can include special celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries. The “Groups Function” allows you to share appointments and diaries with other professionals which you get to select in the true spirit of Web 2.0. Your club or social group, for instance, can share an events diary. A husband and wife could use one diary with reminders sent to a number of email addresses.
This handy suite of online time management tools is user friendly and its use is only limited by the information you provide. Your confidential information is stored in your diary and is password protected. Online advertising is subtly controlled and is always in the background. The site's navigation features are excellent and the user interface is intuitive.
The Post-it Note Pad
Using online technology to manage time doesn't mean you have to give up traditional methods that are proven and time-tested. You should still document important reminders on paper and stick them near your work area in the event of a power outage or backup failure. Since no system is ever fool-proof, traditional processes should be deployed at least minimally. Organize your time the new-fashioned way and watch your productivity soar!