For many jobs, having Internet access is critical. Be it for referencing sources or getting the latest news or posting a press release on social media, it’s hard to do a business without the Internet.
Yet blending the personal and professional on the Internet can create an addiction to the Internet. Whether you’re working on a laptop, desktop or a smartphone, staying connected might lead to addiction. Are you looking up stats or are you looking up cute Siamese cats?
You have to ask yourself about how much time do you spend working and how much time you spend browsing for your own personal amusement. There’s a line that can be easily blurred.
Joel Falconer wrote an article on detecting an Internet addiction and ways to curb one. For detecting, there are five main points.
- You spend more time with the computer than with people.
- You can’t abide by your own boundaries.
- Lying to others about your computer usage.
- Feeling unable to live without the computer/Internet.
- Misguided spending on your computer.
If you claim your “life” is encased in a smartphone or laptop or desktop, it’s important to remember that life often happens when we’re not looking things up and e-mailing people. We might think we’re connected more than ever to people because of the Internet, but the Internet should be a conversation-starter and a way to pass simple, basic information along, not be a means to an end.
Falconer also points out possible solutions:
- For the web-workers – get a virtual assistant.
- Set your computer usage boundaries early on.
- Get your family and friends onside.
- Give them the passwords.
- Modify your routine.
- Don’t use the computer for recreational purposes.
- Track your progress.
If you can compartmentalize your work and personal time on a computer, you can create boundaries. For example, allow forty-five minutes to work and five to ten minutes for catching up on social media. Blending those sides together can create a train wreck of distractions, letting crucial business fall by the wayside.
An important question to ask yourself is, how important is it? Can you live for a half-hour without seeing if you receive a response on Twitter while you have customers on the phone asking about ordering and tracking information? If you have a hard time telling the difference between what’s of utmost importance and secondary, examine your habits.