The World Wide Web is an extremely interesting place to visit. Chat rooms, message boards, and online arcades abound. There is always one more email to read or write. And going to a particular website can lead to click after click until hundreds of pages have been viewed in, seemingly, a short period. Nevertheless, the clock is ticking. And it’s easy to lose track of time while surfing the net. That is why it is essential to set limits on internet usage and to manage time wisely while online.
First, get a true picture of how much time is being spent on the Web. Keep a log for a few days. Notate how the time was used on the net (i.e. surfing, instant messaging, gaming). Then analyze the log. It may be shocking to realize how much of the day is spent online. How much is really necessary? Often, chatting and playing internet games eat up valuable time needed to achieve daily goals. Decide to stop all nonessentials online.
Then, figure out how much time is actually needed to accomplish everything you need to do online each day. Maybe 30 minutes is long enough to check and respond to emails. Perhaps it doesn’t really take 4 hours at a stretch to collect research you need to do a project. Use the log to help set a realistic limit on how many hours the computer will be utilized everyday.
Once a set amount of time has been determined, then figure out what times of the day are best to use the internet. There are definite times when the computer should remain off. Do not detract from family time by being online. Also, when errands or chores need to be completed is not the time to be on the net. And, it is usually not a good idea to try to juggle surfing the net and caring for young children.
Then when is a good time? Often, early mornings and late evenings are reasonable choices because children are in bed and uninterrupted time is available. Experiment and find what works and stick to those timeframes. Resolve not to turn on the computer unless it’s during that designated time. Remember, the web is available 24/7. So this is an achievable goal.
It is also necessary to not go over the amount of set hours. The best way to do this is to determine ahead of time what you want to accomplish online. Decide which sites need to be visited before logging on. Then go only to those sites. And be wary of clicking into ads or getting distracted by IMs or junk emails. Steer clear of any time wasters on the internet. Regain control of your time by setting limits and not wavering from them.