Is Time on Your Side?

Distractions, distractions; it’s amazing anything gets done! From smart phones to Facebook, e-mail to e-zines, videos, photo sharing sites and more, time spent on social media and electronic devices is increasing. All these distractions take a big bite out of your day—perhaps more than you realize, which is why I’m keeping this blog post short.

If you’re young (18 to 24 years old), chances are you spend around 11 hours a day with one or more devices connecting you to the Internet. Up to 20% of your on-line time is diverted from school or your task at hand. At work, the temptation to stop what you are doing to attend to your personal phone is greater than ever.

We’re talking a lot of hours! But what do you have to show for it? You may get valuable information on new technology or read breaking news reports. Many folks enjoy watching pet videos or reading philosophical sound bites on memes though a lot of time is wasted in the process. We all need a break, but five minutes on this and eight more on that add up over numerous on-line visits. Two hours per day of fooling around on meaningless activity translates to 60 hours in a month. That’s one-and-a-half average work weeks. Do that every month for a year, and you’ve racked up 720 hours; a significant chunk of time.

There has been much ironic discussion about how person-to-person communication has suffered from our exposure to social media that would connect us. There’s no argument that we have faster, better ways in which to communicate, though “better” is arguable. When you send a text, you cannot see the gestures or emotions of the other person, despite their use of emoticons. It is easier to have a miscommunication, especially when devices put in words they think you mean. Outcomes are not always humorous and the subtleties that make up human communication become stilted. Face-to-face social skills take longer to develop, and in fact, people hide behind their devices to avoid these interactions.

How often do you indulge in distractions? Has your pleasure increased? Are you able to reach your goals more quickly or are you stressed because there isn’t enough time in the day? Have your relationships improved? If at the end of the year you had 720 hours at your disposal, how would you spend it?

We all get the same 24-hour day. One thing I know with certainty, you won’t get back today no matter how hard you try. Time management is different for everyone. Looking at the facts might make you re-evaluate how much time you actually spend on your fixed and mobile devices. In the final analysis, will you wish you had spent your time doing something else?

Your assignment for tomorrow: mentally note when you stop what you’re doing to look at a text, flip over to a social media site or similar activity. You can guestimate how many minutes you spent or actually keep a log. It will open your eyes.

Author/speaker Janet F. Williams is an oral and written communications specialist, sales trainer, and coach for personal and professional development. Her award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” helps readers ask for what they want and increase their chances of getting it. Contact Janet: info – at –

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>