Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do You Have Trouble Logging Off?

Do you find yourself on the computer often during the day? Do chores get put aside because you'd rather be online? Are you having trouble logging off to spend time with family? Let's face it. Online activities can be fun. But sometimes, they can become addicting and can be a huge distraction in your life.

I enjoy using the computer. My activities on the computer include:

1. Blogging and researching
2. Checking email and responding if necessary
3. Facebook and Twitter
4. Participating in forums
5. Online rewards programs such as Swagbucks
6. Banking and Finances
7. Reading blogs/commenting
8. Couponing
9. Editing photos
10. Looking up topics of interest

...and the list goes on. There is so much information available online that I do find it fun. However, I can admit that it is a huge distraction in my life and I want to take control of it this year, and I think that a few of you may feel that way, too.

During the new year, my goal is to "log off" more often. I am putting myself on a strict "personal" program that I have used before, but now I am using it daily. It's easy to do. I am using the "Timer Method." All you need is a timer of any kind. I prefer the old fashioned timer like you see below.

On days where we spend the majority of time at home, I am only allowing myself 30 minutes on the computer and 30 minutes off, and repeat this as often as I need to if I feel the urge to get on the computer. The only way this will work is to follow this strictly. As soon as your timer buzzes, stop what you are doing and log off. Walk away from the computer. Then, start tackling that to-do list, or spend quality time with your family.

For example, I set my timer for 30 minutes this morning for computer use. I was able to check and respond to emails and start this post. I was in the middle of this post when the timer went off. When the timer buzzed, I immediately got up, left the post to continue later, and went to take care of housework. I could have stayed on to finish, but knew that it could have taken another 30 minutes.

My biggest project that I needed to get done today was unpacking my suitcase from the holidays. Everything was scattered around my bedroom. When I set my timer for 30 minutes of cleaning time, I was able to tackle that huge task along with giving my daughter her snack, with time leftover. Most days, these tasks seem hard to tackle, but with the timer method, I am amazed at what I can get done when I am "timed."

I enjoy using the timer method and think that it may help anyone out there that is easily distracted by the computer. I would love to hear your methods on how you "log off" during the day. Please share by leaving a comment below.

I now have 15 minutes left on my timer now before its time to hang out with my daughter!



  1. There is no way I could have walked away from an unfinished post. But since my kids are all teenagers and up, I have a little bit more "free" time. Actually, I'd love it if they wanted my attention.

  2. CarliAlice- It was hard to walk away from an unfinished post, but I had to do it. Those are the things that get me in trouble--because I could have easily spent another 30 minutes-1 hour on it and other things. I feel so much better that I was able to get my bedroom task taken care of so early this morning without it weighing on my shoulders all day! :) Thanks for your comment!

  3. Ah, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who can get sucked into the internet all day. I'm working one day at a time to accomplish the things I NEED to do, and the things I WANT to do each day, but gosh, sometimes I actually have to shut the dang laptop clear down and take it away from it's plug so I can't simply restart it and surf some more.

  4. Miniginny-
    You aren't the only one. I read about this often--moms and women that are trying to balance it all. I think we like to escape to the internet as a way out sometimes! There have been several times where I have wanted someone to take my computer and lock it up for a day or two. Once I had a virus and my computer was in the shop for 3 days. I felt "free!" It was actually very nice to not be able to "connect" and to reflect on what matters the most in life!

  5. I think its great that you use this method. Reminds me of Flylady where she does things 15 min at a time or so. I've used something similar to what you are doing and I think it works. But there are days where I do nothing but sit and read my blogs etc. Good luck! I have no advice but just a ra ra keep up the good work :)

  6. ate my comment...

    Anyway, I think this is a great method, and I think I need to start implementing it.

    Happy New Year!
    Frugality Is Free.

  7. I get sucked into the internet entirely too much as well. I wonder if this method would help me? May have to try it!

  8. I was sitting here (yes this late at night) and thought. I really need a system... yeah since one of my resolutions is organization (I would include time management)

  9. This system has been working very well for me and I can't believe how much more I am getting done during the day...and getting it done EARLY! I write down only 1-2 of my biggest tasks to tackle for the day (example: laundry, or clean bedroom, or sweep/mop) and I feel like I can do it quicker when the timer is ticking--when I see that I have several minutes left to spare, it is very encouraging!

  10. I totally understand what you mean. I love being online because I get so much reinforcement from it than the other stuff going on. But, I do spend way too much time on it. I will try your method, or some variant of it. Thanks for this post.

  11. This is an excellent tip. I think this could probably work for me and I am definitely going to try it out. I feel like I am glued to my laptop 24 hours a day, lol. I love it, but I don't get anything else accomplished. Thanks!

  12. You are a life saver!!! lol,,I have been so upset with myself bc I have so many things I need to do in my house and all I do is sit on my computer allday entering giveaways,reading blogs,cking email and researching,ect.I have gained so much weight over the past sitting on my butt!! After I read your post I stoped and set my time clock.It's ticking as we speak.I set it for 30 minuites.So much has come off my shoulders just from your tip!! Thanks so much,I look forward to keeping this method going.
    shannpf1977 at yahoo dot com

  13. Shannon,
    Thank you for your response! I am glad that this is working for you! I have been using this since I got back from the holidays, daily. I finally feel that I am getting more accomplished during the day. I always keep the timer next to my computer. The only time I do not use the timer is after my daughters bedtime. After that, its my time to do whatever I want! :) Keep me informed on how its going!

    The Frugal Free Gal


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