It’s a new day. A beautiful morning. You take a seat at your desk, turn on your computer and promise yourself that today is the day you’re going to be more productive. Today is the day you will heed the warning of Ephesians 5:15-16:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Next thing you know, it’s 5:00 p.m. You’ve checked your email 83 times, read 367 Facebook status updates, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity-Googled yourself, perused the Drudge Report, spent more time on Facebook looking at your cousin’s vacation photos, watched 15 different sneezing cat videos on YouTube, gone back to Facebook to water your plants in Farmville, checked Twitter one more time, peeked at your online checking account balance, responded to one email, went back to the Drudge Report, checked the 10-day weather forecast, and signed out for the day … only to do more of the same when you get home.
What you didn’t do is WORK. Or walk in wisdom. Or make the best use of your time. You were a digital sluggard, allowing the day to be wasted away by time-sucking distractions. How do I know? I’ve been just as guilty as anyone. But not anymore.
Did you know there are numerous apps freely available to help you stay focused by restricting the amount of time you can spend online? All you need to do (when you’re in your right-non-time-wasting-mind) is download one, specify which sites to block, when to block them, and get to work!
I learned two things. First, I learned that I spent far more time on these sites than I would have thought. Or, perhaps more properly, I learned that I visited them many more times every day than I would have imagined. The amount of times LeechBlock had to intervene and scold me was both shocking and humiliating. Second, I learned that these sites really were sucking my time away from me. As soon as I installed LeechBlock it was like I added a couple of hours to my day. Not only did my productivity increase but my spiritual condition also improved. I had known that I was wasting vast amounts of time but had not had the self-control to stop myself; I found it very depressing and carried it like a great burden. It was a great relief to me to find that self-control, even if it took a Firefox add-on to do so.
Could you use a similar kick in the pants? If so, check out:
- Chrome: StayFocusd / Chrome Nanny
- Firefox: LeechBlock
- Mac: LeechBlock / SelfControl
- Web-based: KeepMeOut
- Paid (free-trial): Freedom
- Digital timer: Focus Booster
Above all, let’s remember and fulfill our calling as Christians:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. (Col 3:23-24)
Question: Can you relate? Are you using a different time-management tool? Leave a comment below!